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Younger shoppers see Internet as best for deals

Convenience and bargain-hunting tend to drive younger Americans to online shopping, while all adults share concerns about security and other drawbacks, a new study finds.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Convenience and bargain-hunting tend to drive younger Americans to online shopping, while all adults share concerns about security and other drawbacks, a new study finds.

According to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 62 percent of Web users under age 30 consider the Internet to best place to find good deals, while only 32 percent of users age 65 and older do.

Likewise, younger Internet users are far more likely to find online shopping convenient.

John Horrigan, the study's author, attributed the generational gap to the force of habits.

"Older Americans have for a long time been doing shopping the old-fashioned way," Horrigan said. "They've adopted subtle patterns of shopping that are sensible to them and therefore fairly convenient for them. Younger folks never had to learn those tricks like getting to the mall early to avoid crowds or knowing when the sales are."

The generational gap is less pronounced when it comes to giving credit and other personal information online. Seventy-one percent of younger users do not like doing so, almost as high as the 82 percent of older users.

And older users were only slightly more likely — 34 percent vs. 24 percent — to find online shopping complicated.

The telephone-based study of 1,684 Internet users, conducted Aug. 3 to Sept. 5, has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.