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Study: Teens twice as likely to shop online than adults

When it comes to online shopping, teens are outspending their parents.

In fact, shoppers aged between 13-to-18 years old spent at twice the rate of adults in September, according to data from Current, a financial technology company.

Specifically, Current’s teen customers’ online purchases accounted for 17.9% of transactions last month. The most recent U.S. Census Bureau reports online purchases represent 8.6% of all U.S. retail transactions.

Spending on digital content accounted for 54% of online spending by 13-to-18-year olds in September. Video games represented 39.3%, with streaming and online services representing 14.6% of online spending. The remaining 46% of purchases were a more traditional mix of consumer goods, including clothing, cosmetics, novelty items and accessories.

Teen confidence in online shopping for consumer goods extends across the retail landscape. is the most frequented site, capturing 38% of teen online spending, excluding digital content.

Teens also purchase directly from brand sites, especially when shopping for clothing and cosmetics. The web sites of clothing brands — led by Forever 21, Nike, Victoria's Secret, PacSun and Vans — accounted for 9.1% of online sales to teens, excluding digital content.

Cosmetics account for 7.7% of teen online spending in September, excluding digital content. The category was dominated by Sephora, which captured 5.4% of online purchases of cosmetics by teens.

Teens also frequent specialty retailers looking for discounts and unique items — sites their parents may not be familiar with. Online discount retailers such as,, and a host of online discount retailers that ship direct from China accounted for 13.8% of teen online transactions, excluding digital content. was the clear leader, capturing 7.8% of online spending, second only to
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