Millennial Retail Shopping Habits

You’ve heard the term millennials more times than one, but if you’re still confused about this newly-named group we’re here to give you the lowdown on who they are and why you need to understand them.

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, make up a large portion of not only the current work force but also a big chunk of shoppers. Whether you’re a retailer selling high-end apparel or selling fast fashion, understanding how new age shoppers behave and what attracts or deters them will be beneficial to your overall business objectives starting today and for future years to come.

So who are these millennials in question and why do they differ so much from their predecessors? Born and bred between 1980-2000 – based on a survey conducted by PEW research, Millennials are ethnically and racially more diverse than previous generations, they are highly educated, digitally connected and purpose driven.

With the technological growth spurt in the last few decades side-by-side with huge environmental influencers like the famous market crash – Millennials have  been through a whole new slew of issues and realities than previous generations:

Some quick stats that help paint a better picture:

  • 77% of Millennials agree that the bad economy has impacted their ability to save or spend money

  • Millennials say equal rights and equal pay (27%) was the most important issue, followed by protection of the environment (19%) and access to healthcare (14%)

  • 6 in 10 Millennials say that they cannot afford housing, which sheds a bright light on economic stability

So keeping all this in mind, how does this affect the trillion of dollars in sales each year that Millennials contribute to?

Millennial Advertising- What Works

They aren’t interested in ads on the radio, in the newspaper or shown on TV. They certainly won’t take your word for it point blank. As the generation that’s very tech-capable, they spend a lot of time researching brands and items online and more specifically on blogs – most of which happens all on a mobile device. 2 in 5 Millennials are either very or completely likely to download a mobile app using their smartphones to access digital media content.

They sniff out fake advertising like no other. Authenticity is a must, trusting a company and their values is the first step in gaining their attention when producing any type of content. Talking to your audience as a person rather than a logo is always a great approach.

If you’re able to engage your 20-something shopper, that’s half the battle. Millennials want to be genuinely interested in the message you’re communicating, so start thinking creatively.

They expect brands to not only openly communicate with their audiences but also to give back to society and, more specifically, local communities. They place a high value on their digital experience (browsing through your online store) and expect an almost perfect customer experience in person.

More or Less Spending

Their spending habits can vary, but, as a whole, Generation Y tend to spend more time browsing than actually purchasing. This, along with insurmountable student debt and the inability to gain employment, means that many Millennials are on a tight budget. With the inability to gain financial momentum, a large portion of this generation still have to rely on their parents’ generous hospitality.

Millennials will account for 1.4 trillion in retail sales – growing to nearly 30% of all shoppers by 2020. With the amount of technology at their fingertips, connecting with this youthful generation always includes different social platforms. So although they may seem to demand a lot when it comes to their shopping experiences, they also happen to have access to a lot of information – use this to your advantage when engaging with your customers!

Angelika

Angelika

Angelika is a content creator with a love for all things SEO. When she’s not crafting or strategizing optimal ways to reach an audience, she’s photographing or reading up on the latest in food, technology, & culture trends.