More seniors, global teens online

Seniors and teens often have relatively large chunks of free time. And sometimes, disposable income. These factors make the two demographic groups a dynamic force for worldwide e-commerce marketing opportunities, as confirmed by two new surveys.

E-commerce spending by teens worldwide could reach $1.2 billion over the next two years, according to London-based Young and Rubicam Inc. (Y&R), a global marketing and communications firm. Y&R emphasizes that European teens are often overlooked as a powerful online consumer force: An estimated 6 million will be online by the end of next year, dispelling the notion that North American adolescents are the only significant online shopping force.

The Y&R report said European teens often have different tastes from their US counterparts, a fact few firms take into account. Additionally, there are few specific Web sites for European teenagers, even though surveys have found 26 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds in Sweden and 22 percent of 13- to 19-year olds in the Netherlands are actively shopping online.

Adults over the age of 55, meanwhile, are the fastest growing age group online in America, according to Last year there were 6.6 million seniors on the Net, the Web-tracker says. By December this year, that number will have risen to 9.1 million. By 2003 as many as 17.3 million seniors could be using the Internet, many with credit cards at hand. Seniors reportedly spend an average of 8.3 hours a week online, more than any other age group (surprisingly, teens are on only about 6 hours a week).

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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