Are Teens Giving Up the Mall? - eMarketer

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Are Teens Giving Up the Mall?

Digital buyers ages 13 to 18 overwhelmingly prefer to browse products online

January 5, 2016

Shopping at brick-and-mortar stores has long been a rite of teen passage in the US—though socializing may be at least as important as the shopping itself. But teens, like millennials before them, now prefer shopping via digital channels, according to one survey.

Preferred Method of Browsing Products According to US Teen Digital Shoppers, Sep 2015 (% of respondents)

According to September 2015 polling from PowerReviews, more than half of US digital shoppers ages 13 to 18 said they preferred to shop digitally rather than in stores. Among respondents ages 19 to 34, digital channels were even more likely to be preferred, at 63%.

Teens even more dramatically preferred digital when it came to browsing rather than buying. A majority said their favorite way to browse products was on a laptop or desktop computer, with another 37% choosing their mobile phone. Just 6% said they liked browsing best in stores.

The survey, however, examined only those consumers ages 13 to 18 who made digital purchases at least some of the time. Teens are less likely to make purchases online than any other age group. eMarketer estimates that this year, 58.7% of US teens ages 14 to 17 will make at least one purchase via digital channels. That compares to 75.3% of 18- to 24-year-olds and a 67.0% average rate for the population overall.

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