November 29, 2020

Highlights From Piper Jaffray 37th Semi-Annual Generation Z Survey of 8,000 U.S. Teens (Data on Online Usage, Social Media, etc.)

From Piper Jaffray:

  • Overall teen spending up 6% from fall 2018 and up 1% from a year ago
  • Athletic brands remain strong; Vans and lululemon each achieved new survey highs
  • Video games is one of the most notable share gainers at 14%
  • Half of all teens rank Amazon as preferred shopping website (44% last spring)
  • Favorite social media platform is Snapchat but Instagram is cited as the most used; Facebook engagement stabilizes

Piper Jaffray Companies a leading investment bank and asset management firm, completed its 37th semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens® survey, which highlights discretionary spending trends and brand preferences amongst 8,000 teens across 47 U.S. states with an average age of 16. Generation Z, which contributes approximately $830 billion to U.S. retail sales annually*, represents an influential consumer group where wallet size and allocation provide a proxy for category interest.

“Our Spring Teen Survey further validated several characteristics of this digitally-native demographic; 83% of teens have an iPhone, 50% claim Amazon as their favorite website and video game consumption hit an all-time high in our survey,” said Erinn Murphy, Piper Jaffray senior research analyst. “Broadly, casualization of fashion continues and footwear is gaining wallet share. Brands lululemon and Vans hit survey peak share. Within beauty, ULTA was the No. 1 preferred destination—unseating competitor Sephora for the first time.”

Spring 2019 Key Findings

Spending & Shopping Behavior

  • Food continues to be male teens’ No. 1 spending category (23%), clothing is female teens’ No. 1 wallet share (25%)
  • Male spending on video games reaches a new peak at 14%
  • 90% of female teens preferred shopping for beauty in-store vs. online
  • 80% of teens say they get their beauty tips from influencers – Kylie Jenner and James Charles listed as favorite beauty influencers on social media
  • Fashion Nova steps into top 5 shopping websites for females; StockX moves up for males (No. 9)

Brand Preferences

  • Athletic brands remain strong; Vans and lululemon each achieved new survey highs
  • Vans hits highest level in survey history as a favorite footwear brand at 20%, the closest any brand has been to Nike in years
  • Chick-fil-A remains No. 1 restaurant for 3 surveys
  • lululemon hits all-time survey high (No. 2 preferred athletic apparel brand, No. 8 overall apparel)
  • ULTA overtakes Sephora as preferred beauty destination for the first time at 31%
  • Mario Badescu continues its upward trend, rising to No. 2 (versus No. 6 last spring)
  • iPhone ownership peaks at 83% and smart watch ownership is up significantly at 27%

The Piper Jaffray Taking Stock With Teens survey is a semi-annual research project that gathers input from 8,000 teens with an average age of 16 years. Discretionary spending patterns, fashion trends, technology, and brand and media preferences are assessed through surveying a geographically diverse subset of high schools across the U.S. Since the project began in 2001, Piper Jaffray has surveyed more than 170,000 teens and collected over 44 million data points on teen spending.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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