Commentary

Looking, But Not Touching

  • by March 21, 2001
Looking, But Not Touching

According to a recently released report by Ipsos-Reid, 54% of online young people surveyed around the globe report using the Internet to gather information about products and services. The study, The Face of the Web: Youth, says however, only 27 % are buying online. Window and comparison shopping is commonplace in the well-developed Internet youth markets in North America and Europe. Online browsers are:

- urban Brazilians 84%
- Netherlands 64%
- Sweden 64%
- U.S. 60%
- Germany 59%
- Italy 58%
- Canada 57%

Actual buying, among young shoppers, though:
- Americans 43%
- Swedes 41%
- Germans 33%
- Canadians 25%
- Britons 22%

The most popular purchases are:
- music 19%
- clothing 16%
- books 14%

And niche interests are evident:
- video game purchases by male teens
- young men and females of all ages are more likely to purchase books
- young women and girls are roughly three times more likely to buy clothing online than young men or male teens
- sporting goods and computing goods have captured the young male Internet purchasers

Payment methods differ:
- 43% of youth surveyed used their own payment cards to buy
- 28% used the card of someone else, generally a parent
- 23% report using COD, checks or money orders, bank drafts or transfers.

According to the report, online shopping holds far less appeal than e-mail, music downloading, chat room participation and video gaming.

"Young shoppers are still likely to find more immediate gratification at a brick-and-mortar retailer than waiting for delivery of an order placed online," says Schattenberg of Ipsos-Reid. "It would appear that young consumers like the idea of window shopping online, but prefer the social experience of ‘actual’ shopping.”

The Face of the Web: Youth was conducted last year with over 10,000 youths between the ages of 12 and 24 in 16 countries. Results outside the U.S. are accurate within an error margin of no more than plus/minus 6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20; in the U.S., the results are accurate within an error margin of no more than plus/minus 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

See the whole thing here

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