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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Online Consumerism arrow Teens turned off by online purchases
Teens turned off by online purchases PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vox Pops International   
28 Aug 2006

Teens turned off by online purchases

They chat on MSN or search for information via Google but when it comes to money, teenagers treat the World Wide Web with reserve. This is the major finding revealed by the latest interviews by Vox Pops International, the pioneers of video based market research. While most teens embrace new technologies both online and offline, the majority do not trust the safety precautions on the internet; only very few shop online or conduct their banking via the computer.  

Each month Vox Pops conduct qualitative street interviews with a different life stage group at different locations across Britain. This month teenagers answered questions on retail behaviour, media consumption, brand preferences, their financial situation, their leisure time and career aspirations.

The majority of the respondents use MSN regularly in order to find new friends and stay in contact with their old ones. “Even if you haven't spoken to someone in ages you can get their address through a friend and it all starts from there,” says Ben, 16. Communicating without actually seeing or hearing the other person seems to be much easier; 15-year-old Samantha told us: “Some people express themselves a lot better through the computer than they can to your face, so you learn a lot about people.”

Regarding their shopping habits one can spot two different types among the respondents: while one group - mainly boys - prefer to buy their clothes in shops like Footlocker, JJB Sports or JD Sports the other group tends to go to shops like Topshop, H&M and River Island. Ella, 16, likes H&M because “they are not too expensive but they do fashionable clothes”. Rebas, 17, says: “I think Topman is good but sometimes it's ridiculously expensive.”

We also asked our respondents about the do's and don'ts in terms of clothing brands. Aerote, 17, names Reebok as a seriously uncool brand but the whole matter is not as easy as it seems: “The tracksuits are alright but the trainers - no.” And it gets even more complicated: While some respondents regard Nike as rather a fashionable brand 16-year-old Gary points to his friend's shirt and says: “I can't stand things like that, Nike, it's just chav to me.”

Clothes and other fashion items like trainers came out top when the respondents were asked about their favourite purchases. Moreover, many teenagers spend their money on music, going out and gadgets. But even if their interests are similar, the spending power of teens differs immensely as the amount of pocket money the respondents get ranges from £30 to £150 a month. Many teenagers try to increase their budget by working part-time. 17-year-old Jessica who gets £50 allowance a month from her parents earns £150 at Waitrose: “It can be a bit boring but it's nice to have a job and have money.” 

The Teens series is the 14th instalment in the Free Monthly Video Series. Designed by Vox Pops International, the video service is the first of its kind to offer free monthly insights into different life stage groups for market researchers and marketers.

The videos can be viewed at:

By subscribing at Vox Pops International website, users are entitled to one free video from the series every month. Previous topics include Retail, Work/Life Balance, Tweens, Over 50s and Young Professionals.

Last Updated ( 28 Aug 2006 )
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