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Digital Citizens News

The Young and the Giftless: Young Adults Most Vulnerable to Online Holiday Failures

Published Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Poll Shows 18-24 Year Olds More Likely Not to Receive Orders and Less Likely to Use Secure Websites

Washington, DC – The Digital Citizens Alliance is warning young adults to be extra careful when shopping online this Cyber Monday. A new poll commissioned by the consumer watchdog group shows that of all age groups 18 and older, it is young adults (ages 18-24) that are the most likely to not receive gifts they've ordered online.

In all, the Digital Citizens poll found that more than one in three (or 35 percent) of young adults said they had ordered gifts online and not received them. That's double the number we saw in the entire population (18 percent). Almost 60 percent of the young adults who didn't get a gift didn't get a refund either. The poll also offered two reasons why young adults might be having such trouble:

  • While more than 80 percent of the total population said they verify that they are shopping on a secure website, only 60 percent of young adults did – by far the lowest of the five age groups (18-24 years-old, 25-34, 35-54, 55-69 and those more than 70 years old);
  • The young adults are most likely of the age cohorts to look for the lowest price when they buy online, which scammers commonly prey upon by offering products at a significant discount. In addition, they are the least likely to consider if the website is well-known and established. To view an info graphic with more results from the Digital Citizens polling, click here.

"It is easy to understand why young adults, who are just starting their careers and have the least disposable income, would bargain shop. It is unfortunate that young people who are looking for value and options end up being ripped off and frustrated," said Digital Citizens Alliance Executive Director Tom Galvin.

The Adobe Digital Index 2013 Online Shopping Forecast predicts shoppers will spend $2.27 billion online this Cyber Monday, up 15 percent from 2012. Adobe predicts more will be spent on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday or Thanksgiving. According to comScore, Cyber Monday 2012 was the heaviest online spending day in history. IBM said Cyber Monday sales grew by 30 percent in 2012 and 33 percent in 2011.

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