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Young Americans Take Their Spending Online

  |  September 19, 2000   |  Comments

A pair of surveys by Harris Interactive found that young people in the US are spending at a projected rate of $164 billion per year, and e-commerce has become one of the avenues by which they spend. In fact, e-commerce spending among those ages 18 to 24 is more than four times the rate of e-commerce spending among all adults.

E-commerce spending among 18 to 24 year olds in the US is more than four times the rate of e-commerce spending among all adults, according to the Nickelodeon Online/Harris Interactive KidPulse and the MTV/Harris Interactive YouthPulse studies.

The US online population age 8 to 24 are spending at a projected rate of $164 billion per year, the studies found, and is also saving at a rate of $54 billion annually. E-Commerce spending amounts to 13 percent of their total spending.

The 13 to 24 age group are spending their money on clothes, pre-recorded music, movie tickets, and books. This varies by gender: females are more likely than males to buy clothing (75 percent vs. 52 percent); shoes (40 percent vs. 23 percent); and camera film (36 percent vs. 18 percent). Males are more likely than females to buy computer software (43 percent vs. 7 percent); stereo equipment (21 percent vs. 8 percent); and video games/systems (26 percent vs. 5 percent).

Median E-Commerce Spending by Age Group
Age
Group
Amount Spent
Online per Year
% of Income
Spent Online
13-15 $360 22%
16-17 $540 13%
18-21 $900 12%
22-24 $1,200 7%
Source: MTV/Harris Interactive YouthPulse

Online kids ages 8 to 12 also purchase books and pre-recorded music, but toys and games are popular items for children as well. When comparing the spending habits of 8 to 12 year-old boys and girls, girls are more likely than boys to buy clothes (25 percent vs. 7 percent), and boys are more likely to buy video games/systems (42 percent vs. 7 percent).

"Online kids are very involved in family purchases," said Melva Goffney, Director of Research and Planning at Nickelodeon Online. "For instance, this study showed that 75 percent of online 8 to 12 year olds influence which groceries the family buys. Almost half (49 percent) influence their parents clothing choices. And 7 in 10 said they have a major influence on where the family decides to go on vacation."

The studies found that 63 percent of online 13 to 24 year olds say they will spend more online in the future than they do today.

"Advertisers using new media need to realize that the Internet influences more than dircet e-commerce spending," said John Geraci, VP of Youth Research at Harris Interactive. "This study found that 69 percent of online 13 to 24 year olds research products online before they buy them in traditional, bricks-and-mortar outlets."

There are 65.4 million 8 to 24 year olds in the US, a 6 percent increase from 10 years ago. The Harris Interactive studies were conducted online, and interviewed 3,878 respondents in July of 2000.

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