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Teens to Spend $3 Billion Online in 2006

A new market report from JupiterResearch finds that while teends represent only about three percent of online sales, they will nonetheless account for $3 billion in online purchases during 2006. The new report, “Teen Online Shoppers: Reaching Teen Influencers and Early Adopters Through Consumer-Created Content” also finds that comparatively few teens make online purchases independent of their parents, with 83 percent reporting they make purchases with their parents present and using their parents’ debit or credit card.

More important than teens’ purchasing power may be the influence they bring to online purchased made by their parents and other adults. One in four teens surveyed report that their parents consider their opinion about household purchases. “[Teens] can be very influential on overall household buying,” said Patti Freeman Evans, lead author of the report, in a release. “Retailers should not ignore where teens go to get information about product purchases, especially at this time of year.”

The report also finds that alternative online payment methods, such as PayPal and gift certificates, are growing in popularity and enable teens to make purchases on their own.

“Retailers should look to consumer-created content and sites with expert advice to target early-adopter teens,” said David Schatsky, president of JupiterKagan. “Teenagers are internet-savvy and retailers must understand their characteristics and behaviors to catch them as them as they begin making their first independent online purchases.”

Because that’s what every teenager wants this holiday season: to be “caught” be an online retailer.