Retailers have begun to set their sights on teens, who make up a portion of Gen Z, as they enter adulthood and start competing with millennials for marketing dollars. And this demographic is more keen on food than fashion.
The spring 2018 “Taking Stock of Teens” report from Piper Jaffray, which examined the shopping behaviors of US teens, found that teen spending was up 6% from the fall survey and up 2% year over year. Time spent online shopping gained from last year (19% vs. 17%), while time spent in brick-and-mortar stores went down (38% vs. 41%).
This is slightly counter to a February 2018 study from Salsify, which showed that Gen Z (roughly defined as consumers ages 24 and younger) was the only generation to prefer in-store shopping to online shopping (34% vs. 32%). And a December 2017 survey of US adults by Cowen and Company found that 73.5% of Gen Z had shopped in a physical store for apparel, shoes or accessories in the past 30 days, slightly above the average for total respondents (72.0%).
It appears teens like a variety of shopping channels, just like everyone else. Per Cowen, 30% of Gen Z preferred a blend of Amazon, retailer or brand sites, online marketplaces and physical stores, matching the overall average.
And teens, along with many digital shoppers in the US, have a fondness for Amazon. According to Piper Jaffray, the online retailer was the top shopping website among teens, at 44%. The websites for Nike (6%), American Eagle (4%) and Urban Outfitters (3%) were far behind.