Online Selling To Teens

Online Retailers Pursue Teenagers — This article is about the efforts of Federated department stores to get kids to shop at their new online portal But I was struck by this statistic in the article:

Teenage boys buy more goods online, Mr. Callender said, because the items they are interested in – like videos, music and tech gizmos – are easier to evaluate online than the sweaters, shoes and other items that are high on teenage girls’ online shopping lists. “Also, shopping is more a social occasion for girls,” he said. “But we are seeing girls becoming more comfortable with buying clothes online.”

Analysts and online executives said that the increasing use of high-speed connections by residential Internet users has boosted the teenage market. Faster connections give Web sites license to offer more multimedia features, which can retain adolescents’ attention without frustrating other visitors.

EBay is the notable exception to the rule that teenagers crave gilt and flash from their Web sites. The site is by far the most popular online shopping destination for teenagers. According to comScore Media Metrix, an Internet consultancy, eBay had nearly 5 million visitors between the ages of 12 and 17 in January, compared with about 3 million for Amazon, which ranked second.

Here’s the question — how do they know? And how interesting that they get to sell that info to comScore Media Metrix and their ilk.