Teens are increasingly joining the online shopping revolution — and it’s good news for Amazon.
Fifty percent of teens surveyed by Piper Jaffray in its most recent semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens report said that Amazon was their favorite website. The survey asked questions about the preferences and buying patterns of over 8,000 teens.
The result is nothing but good news for Amazon, which seems to have the youngest buying generation on lock. Its score is up three points from the fall and six points from a year ago. It’s also 10 times higher than the second most popular answer, Nike, which doesn’t compete with Amazon on general online shopping.
Most of Amazon’s performance boost came from the category Piper Jaffray defines as upper-income teen males, where the website was up six points when compared to the fall. Fifty-nine percent in that category said Amazon was their favorite website, but only 38% of upper-income females said the same thing, holding steady from six months ago.
Females are more likely to have other favorite sites for shopping, usually trendy fashion sites like Fashion Nova, Forever 21, or American Eagle.
Teens are also taking a liking to online shopping more than they have previously. Teens are now spending more time than ever before shopping on online-only websites and less time in physical department stores or specialty retailers, according to Piper Jaffray’s survey. Online shopping rose 500 basis points over department and specialty stores.
Additionally, a large percentage of teens — 89% of upper-income female teens and 91% of upper-income male teens — say they shop online. Both of these were the highest percentage Piper Jaffray has ever recorded for each gender in its survey.
These shopping preferences seem to mirror those of the earlier generation, millennials, who have fallen in love with Amazon’s quick shipping, selection, and ease of use.
In 2018, Cowen & Co. found that the website was the “clear preferred shopping destination” for almost everything, including categories like apparel that aren’t traditionally associated with Amazon.
But millennials’ love goes even deeper than that. According to a 2018 survey from Max Borges Agency, 44% of millennials said they would rather give up sex than quit Amazon for a year, and 77% of those surveyed would choose Amazon over alcohol for a year.
The new data runs counter to some previous surveys, like one from 2017 that found that Gen Z preferred to shop in stores.
In a 2017 holiday shopping survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 81% of respondents ages 13 through 17 said they preferred to shop in stores over online, while 40% said they would only shop in stores for that holiday season. For other age groups, it was about even.
Gen Z’s preferences starting to look more like millennials’ likely comes as something of a relief for Amazon, which will likely depend on Gen Z’s spending dollars as they get older.
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