Stores aiming at kids take page from MySpace

Wal-Mart building out an online space which they hope will turn teens into online, in-store shoppers.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

Taking their cues from the success of social networking sites such as MySpace, retailers have teens in their crosshairs. The large retailers with an online presence know that school-age kids are connecting and shopping through the Internet. They're tailoring their products to fill that niche, reports Technews World.

Notice, for example, the bigger-than-ever push to shop online for back-to-school supplies.

"Online retail reflects the offline retail season," Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst with Forrester Research, told the E-Commerce Times. "Back-to-school is usually very strong in certain categories -- office supplies, general merchandise, sporting goods."

Now that the back-to-school season is over, retailers are taking cues on what's cool from the Internet.

"Wal-Mart, for example, was playing around with social networking, building on MySpace, being a place where students and kids would want to hang out."

"Hopefully, that would have a trickle effect," Mulpuru explained. "They'd be at the Wal-Mart and see things they would want or need for school and would influence their parents' spending decisions."

In a Nielson poll, retailers reported that most of the top 10 destinations with back-to-school shopping campaigns saw an increase in image-based online advertising impressions during the July to August time frame.

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