Stumbling Toward Teen Sales
Yet many retail strategies remain focused on back-to-school promotions (taking shape right now for the annual deluge) and opportunistic sales. This narrow approach defies the onslaught of research data about this most-studied and most fickle consuming sector. MTV, CEA and dozens of independent market analysts devote millions of dollars to figuring out how a product or a performance becomes cool and how to cash in when the time is right. But they don't always come up with the right answer.
CEA's expansive study of teen shopping found that retailers still aim many of their merchandising efforts toward parents. It's no shock that parents and kids disagree on their roles in the purchasing process. Fully 92 percent of kids said they exert some influence when a home electronics device is bought, while only 60 percent of adults admit that their kids affect the choice.
But they all agree that a resident 15-year-old is the best home tech support unit available. Equally significant, teen shoppers are very comfortable with online shopping: 41 percent of teens who bought a CE product did so online, compared to only 31 percent of adults, according to CEA's research. There's a message in that for future storefront selling.