January 22, 2001

Online US kids, teenagers, and young adults aged 8 to 21 spent $2.4 billion on gifts for others during the 2000 holiday period. Girls were more generous in their gift giving than boys, and although Generation Y expresses a keen interest in buying online, online shopping has yet to take a firm hold among the nation’s youth.

These are among the findings of the most recent wave of Harris Interactive YouthPulse. The study, conducted online twice yearly by Harris Interactive measured responses of 3,139 young participants in January 2001.

The study found that holiday spending grows significantly with age: Eight to nine year olds spent about $15 on average, while 18-21 year olds spent about $130 during the same period. And, girls spent more than boys did – across all age ranges.

"It is clear that young girls are more generous than young boys when it comes to gift giving," stated John Geraci, Harris Interactive’s Vice President for Youth Research. "The gap between girls’ and boys’ holiday spending actually widens with age. This is surprising in that we have also shown that boys have larger discretionary incomes than girls."

Boys were more likely to buy holiday gifts online than girls were. "Boys seem more comfortable with the concept of ecommerce," added Geraci, "and YouthPulseSM has consistently finds that Generation Y wants to spend more online but doesn’t feel enabled to do so. On the whole, before age 19, kids and teens buy online by using their parent’s credit cards, and this probably suppressed online holiday spending by young people as it is awkward to borrow parents’ cards to buy gifts for them. We expect online shopping among youth to grow significantly as enabling strategies such as eWallets, online purchase cards and online bank accounts, debit cards targeted to teens, are adopted.

For more information at http://www.harrisinteractive.com.

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