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What Are Teens Spending Most of Their Money On? Surprise, It’s Not Games

The folks at Piper Jaffray are a very brave lot. They put themselves in close proximity with 5,200 teens (average age of 16.3 years) in order to quantify their spending habits. They did this, so marketers like you could have a better understanding of how teenagers think without having to actually get close to one. You can thank them later. But right now, let’s take a look at what they got.

The survey is called the 25th semi-annual “Taking Stock With Teens” project and it begins with an overview of teen spending by category.

teen spending

Incredibly, most of their money goes to fashion. Upper-income teens said they’re spending a little less but plan to spend more in the near future. Maybe they’re waiting for the new spring fashions to land in stores. Average-income teens are spending a little more than usual and I don’t even have a guess as to why.

Large Portion of Shoppers Say In-Store WiFi Influences Where They Shop

jiwire public wifiOver the weekend, my husband and I pulled into a shopping center to get lunch. We had a choice of two places and I chose the one that had WiFi.

Yikes. When did I become that person? You know, the one who sits at a restaurant table with cell phone in hand, texting and checking email between courses.

I take comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. According to a new study by JiWire, mobile usage on public WiFi has increased 53% in the last 12 months.

Looking specifically at stores with WiFi, almost 80% of people said that the availability of in-store WiFi influenced where they shop.

Girl Scouts Shut Down Reality Star (?) For Selling Cookies Online

girl-scouts-cookies-vintage-photosShocking news. The Girl Scouts slapped down reality star Honey Boo Boo for selling cookies online!

Incredibly, this isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned the low brow, precocious pageant princess on Marketing Pilgrim, but I believe it’s the first time I wrote a piece based on a tip from TMZ. For that, I apologize, but I think there’s something worth discussing here.

The story goes like this: little Alana Thompson (aka Honey Boo Boo), posted a banner on her official Facebook page offering to sell autographed boxes of Girl Scout cookies by mail.

Alana is not a Girl Scout. She was selling the cookies on behalf of a friend and the instructions clearly stated that money orders were to be made out to the troop. She was doing a good deed but the Girl Scouts made her stop.

Warning: Using a Mobile Phone While Shopping Leads to Unplanned Purchases

ipsos reason cloudA new IAB study offers more proof that offline retailers needn’t fear the mobile shopper. Sure, they may be using their phone to see if they can find a better price online, but one third of those showroomers made an in-store purchase anyway.

The new report, which was compiled by IpsosMediaCT, doesn’t deny the fact that mobile encourages online shopping, it does reveal a few bright spots for offline retailers.

First off, let’s be clear about the numbers. Only 31% of consumers use a mobile device while shopping in a store. I say “only” because that means that the majority of consumers who walk through your door are going to follow traditional shopping behaviors.

That doesn’t mean you should ignore the wants and needs of the mobile shopper, but it’s good to have perspective.

Holy Impulse Buying! American Express Launches Twitter Shopping

amex syncHave you ever skimmed your Twitter feed and thought, wow, if only I could buy an Amazon Kindle just by replying to a Tweet? No? Me, neither. But American Express is making it happen anyway with Amex Sync for stuff. (That’s not exactly what they call it, but it fits.)

Here’s how it works. You see an offer on the American Express Twitter feed that you want. You Tweet using the assigned hashtag. Confirm your Tweet and bam, the item is on its way to you.

It’s a little more complicated than that – but not much, and that’s both cool and scary.

About Report Details the Evolution of the Purchase Funnel

220px-Purchase-funnel-diagram.svgElias St. Elmo Lewis mapped out the route that potential customers take prior to purchasing a product. It’s referred to as the Purchase Funnel because it’s depicted as an inverted triangle funneling folks down to the moment they pull out their wallet. There are four steps in the process:

  • Awareness – the customer is aware of the existence of a product or service
  • Interest – actively expressing an interest in a product group
  • Desire – aspiring to a particular brand or product
  • Action – taking the next step towards purchasing the chosen product

Mr. St. Elmo Lewis came up with this idea in 1898, slightly before the invention of the internet.

Since then, things have changed a little and that’s the subject of About.com’s latest report which they call “The Purchase Loop.”

Multiple Balances, One Gift Card: Facebook Introduces a New Piece of Plastic

facebook gift cardAll hail the guy who invented the gift card. These nifty bits of plastic allow you to buy what you want with someone else’s money. It doesn’t get better than that.

The only downside to gift cards is that you have to carry them in your wallet, remember to use them and mentally keep track of how much is left on each one. Facebook has a solution – sort of.

Introducing the Facebook Card, which isn’t what you think it is when you hear the name.

The Facebook Card is a gift card that has nothing to do with Facebook except that you buy it through the site. Here’s how it works: