80% of teens shop online, and their favorite web retailer is Amazon

They greatest portion of teen online spending is for apparel.

Allison Enright , Editor

Teenagers are trading in shopping at the mall for shopping on the web. A September survey by investment firm Piper Jaffray Cos. says 78% of teen girls and 82% of teen boys shop online, and 25% of girls and 37% of boys prefer shopping online over shopping in stores.

More than 8,600 teens participated in the survey, and the average age of respondents was 16.2. A portion of the responses were collected on-site in high schools in 13 states and a portion through a nationwide online survey.

By product category, 29% of what teens spend online is on apparel, followed by footwear (22%), electronics (20%), accessories (13%), other (11%) and personal care products (6%). The “Taking Stock With Teens” report did not assign dollar amounts to teen online spending, but the investment bank says respondents indicated that a mid-teens percentage of their spending is online.

Looking closer at online apparel shopping, 70% of teen girls who shop for apparel online say they buy most often from the e-retail sites of chain retailers, with 30% citing web-only retailers. For boys, the split is 59% for the e-retail sites of chain retailers and 41% for web-only merchants.

Teen boys and girls agree that their favorite e-retailer is Amazon.com Inc: 25% of girls and 35% of boys name it as their favorite. For girls, the runners-up are Forever 21 (9%), Nordstrom (6%), Urban Outfitters (6%) and American Eagle Outfitters (5%). For boys, the runners-up are eBay (10%), Nike (9%), Eastbay (4%) and PacSun (2%). Amazon.com is No. 1 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide. Forever 21 is No. 353; Nordstrom, No. 28; Urban Outfitters, No. 48; American Eagle Outfitters, No. 64; Nike, No. 72; and PacSun, No. 290. Eastbay is a unit of Foot Locker Inc., No. 51.

The survey also looked at teens’ use of mobile devices and at digital content consumption. It says 55% of teens own an Apple Inc. iPhone, up from 48% a year ago. More than half, 56%, now own a tablet, up from 51% in spring 2013.

Movie rental and streaming firm Netflix Inc., No. 9 in the Top 500, should be pleased with what the survey reveals about teens and digital streaming: 49% say they download or stream movie rentals, and 59% of teens say that in five years they expect Netflix to be their primary source of movie rentals.



Amazon, Netflix, online apparel sales, Piper Jaffray, streamed content, teen shoppers, web-only merchants