Bricks & Mortar Still Rules Among Millennial Shoppers (after Internet search)

Retail and Consumer Confidence
20/06/2017 12:31

Online coupon search site and retail trend analyst CouponFollow recently released The Millennial Shopping Report, tracking the behavior of those born between 1982 and 1996, who now constitute "the largest generation in human history", with over 80 million members in the U.S. alone. CouponFollow claims that Millennials spend $600 billion annually and are, "poised to inherit $30 trillion from their Baby Boomer parents"; they already account for 28% of all daily per-person consumer spending, and it is suggested that could rise to 35% by 2030. In short: a fairly significant demographic for online and offline retailers.

In May 2017, CouponFollow polled 1,000 Americans between the ages of 20-35 from all 50 states. Representing a broad economic scope, with annual income ranging from 0-$200,000+, participation was evenly split amongst Millennials who identify as male or female (48% and 52%, respectively). The main consumer behavior finding is that, "While Millennials have a reputation for being fixated on technology, as a generation they still make the majority of their purchases from brick and mortar stores." They found that 53% of Millennials make the majority of purchases offline, with females (56%) more likely to shop offline than their male counterpart (52%). They further note that the youngest of the Millennials (ages 20-23) make the majority (58%) of their purchases offline(!), up five percentage points from the generational average, while 18% of older Millennials (ages 32-35) make the majority of purchases on mobile devices—up two percentage points from the generation average.

The message CouponFollow sent to retailers is that the future will require a "hybrid approach ... In order to make a tangible impact, retailers must bridge the gap between online and offline experience." This is because 76% of Millennials browse the internet before making a purchasing decision, whether online or offline. Furthermore, when they browse online and offline, they’re more likely (67%) to purchase from a brick and mortar store than from an online retailer (33%). The researchers also found that finding deals and saving money, free shipping and product reviews and feedback weigh more heavily on purchasing decisions than product personalization - the latter of which is often cited as a distinguishing charateristic of the generation.