In the United States, teens are expected to spend about $66 billion this year, up nearly 10% from last year, according to the latest version of Piper Sandler’s “Taking Stock with Teens” report. After surveying 7,100 American teens between February 16 and March 22 on topics ranging from their preferences for brands to their level of interest in the Metaverse, Piper Sandler found that teen spending was on the rise, consumers of Gen Z saying they’re shelling out for skincare, sports hobbies, video games, shoes and accessories, among other things, while expressing concern over the uncertain economy and ‘social causes’ , such as the war in Ukraine and climate change.
In the apparel segment, Piper Sandler found that athleisure is still the “dominating trend”, with brands like Nike and lululemon occupying the top spots on the list of top brands for consumers surveyed, including the average age is 16 years old. In terms of non-athletic apparel, the financial services company said it continues to “see a silhouette shift with looser or flared denim,” but noted that it “sees this trend spreading to leggings, like [it] received responses such as “flared leggings”. For shoes, “while Nike reigns supreme, Converse took the number 2 spot from Vans, Crocs increased its position in the rankings” (from the number 8 spot to number 6), and slips -on company of Hey Dude shoes reached the top 10 at number 9, by Piper Sandler.
Meanwhile, Coach “regained its No. 1 ranking as the favorite handbag brand since the mid-2010s,” while Michael Kors came in at No. 2, ahead of Louis Vuitton at No. 3, Kate Spade ( 4) and Chanel (5).
On the beauty front, skincare held “the highest spending priority” in the segment, followed by cosmetics and haircare, with the survey revealing that teens are willing to pay more for products carrying certain buzzwords. 88% of teens surveyed said they would pay more for “clean” skincare/beauty products and 58% would pay more for products advertised as “backed by science”.
When it comes to how and where teens shop, Piper Sandler revealed that the top sites teens shop on are Amazon (53%), Chinese fast-fashion titan Shein (8%), e-commerce site electronics from Nike (6%) and the PacSun website (2 percent). More than half of teens said Amazon was their “favorite e-commerce site.” However, Piper Sandler notes that Amazon has fallen from 47% to 35% year-over-year as the top shopping site among “high-income women.” This mirrors a broader trend, with Piper Sandler senior research analyst Erinn Murphy saying as part of the company’s Fall 2021 report that Amazon was losing its “shared mindset” of a year on year, as “women-centric websites like SHEIN are on the rise. .”
At the same time, second-hand purchases continue to play a role in the consumption behavior of adolescents. According to Piper Sandler’s latest findings, 7% of teen shopping time is spent second-hand, with 46% of teens buying and 56% selling second-hand clothing/accessories. Those numbers are down from those in the Fall 2021 report, which found that 51% bought second-hand and 62% of teens sold second-hand.
Finally, Piper Sandler discerned that teenagers are proving to be increasingly aware of – and interested in – non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”), but not necessarily buying into the hype surrounding the metaverse. The survey found that more teens are aware of NFTs than they were last fall, when only a small percentage actually bought one. (As of fall 2021, 22% of teens surveyed had heard of NFTs, and of the 10% of survey participants who had actually purchased an NFT, 81% were male.) In terms of attitudes towards the metaverse more broadly, 26% said they own a virtual reality device, such as a headset, but only 5% use such devices daily. And in what might be the most stark lesson on the front end, less than half of teens seem optimistic about the rise of the Metaverse, with 48% saying they’re either “unsure” or “not interested” in the Metaverse despite the growing efforts of brands – ranging from Nike and adidas to Gucci and Balenciaga – to meet the needs and connect with young consumers in this space.