By Brian Johnsrud
Imagine picking out your outfit for next week by simply clicking a mouse, or browsing through the Gap during studyhall. Where theres a modem, theres a way. Which is what millions of teens across America are finding out with one of the internets most enticing opportunities for young adults online shopping.
Serving over a million customers a year, stores like icanbuy.com are multiplying over the net for one very creative reason. Not only do they offer hundreds of different products, they give teens what theyve been anticipating, the chance to spend their money however they elect. Choices vary from spending it on over 20 different online stores, investing it in cyberbanks, or even donating towards up to four different charities.
Heres how it works. Parents start out by setting up an online credit account for their children using a credit card, accounts averaging around $50. Also, for many rural town communities the enigma with out-of-town shopping has been solved, linking students to stores and businesses across the nation.
Independent financing is becoming an overflowing river of popularity for the younger generations, but are teens jumping into the deep end? With the ease of clicking away your cash, reports show teens are spending more over the internet than buying clothes the old fashioned way. By the remaining three weeks before school starts, the average parent spent $192 on back-to-school shopping, while the average student spent $203 at online stores. Are we headed downstream with the newest boosts in technology, or are we just getting our feet wet?
Broadening success also has techno-phobic parents on the fritz about insurance and safety of internet investments. Reminded of the 13-year-old boy from Philadelphia who placed $3.1 million worth of bids on the internet auction site eBay, teens and parents are skeptical about the reliance of the internet. Because of these concerns, many sites are using secure server software, encrypting all personal information, including name, phone number, and credit card numbers, putting most parents worries to rest, while others keep one wary eye open.
Offering many features to store customers, such as free e-mail, audio chat, and virtual calendars are enticing students and luring them in. Beating other sites to the finish line, releasing new features and opportunities have made these stores the main attraction for shopping in the 90s. Because of this, virtual shops have parked in the fast-paced mainstream, making them here to stay, and available to all with a modem and interest.