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Media Usage and Shopping Habits of Teens

Tech-savvy and social

Today’s teens have grown up with the internet, and their status as digital natives places them in the avant-garde of internet and technology use.

eMarketer estimates that by the end of 2011, 96% of US teens ages 12 to 17 will use the internet at least monthly, significantly higher than the 74% penetration for the total US population.

“The internet is not only fun, but is also indispensable for a host of tasks such as communicating, learning and shopping,” said Jared Jenks, eMarketer analyst and author of the new report, “Demographic Profile—Teens.”

The social internet is similarly indispensable. More than four in five teens will use social networks this year, eMarketer estimates, compared to 64% of all internet users. Nearly three-quarters of teens will use Facebook monthly this year, according to eMarketer, and Ipsos Public Affairs found in 2010 that over 50% visited the site daily.

And social is critical, in particular, for retailers targeting teens. “Peer influence is the key driver in teen girl shopping behavior,” said Tobi Elkin, eMarketer writer/analyst and author of another new report on teens, “Teen Girls: Always on a Social Shopping Mission.”

According to GfK MRI, more than 4 million teen girls purchased items online in 2010, up from 3.4 million in 2009.

“While they are price-conscious and driven by a great deal, teen girls weigh these factors against the all-important consideration of whether peers will approve of their purchases,” Elkin said.


The full reports, “Demographic Profile—Teens” and “Teen Girls: Always on a Social Shopping Mission,” also answer these key questions:

  • What are the demographics of teens?
  • How do teenagers spend their time with media?
  • What do they do online?
  • How are they using mobile phones?
  • Who are teen girl consumers?
  • How do they shop?
  • How are retailers using digital and social media tools to engage teen girls?
  • What are the key influences on their shopping behavior?

To purchase the report on teen demographics, click here. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.


Check out today’s other article, “Ford Blends Digital with Branded Content.”

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