Why should you want to connect with Millennials?

Posted by Cathy Harms on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 @ 06:06 AM

I love Marketing Charts.  I get an email every day with statistics on all sorts of different businesses.  Beginning today, I am going to set aside a few hours once a month to actually go through all these charts and try to find interesting information to share with you.  My goal is to give you helpful, concise information because you don’t have time to keep up with all this!  So let us help you with information that may help your business or at least might be interesting!  If you want to see more details, just click on the links.

This week’s blog is for our retail customers and prospects.  Next week, I will have restaurant stats to share. 

I found several interesting research results that describe some shopping traits of Millennials.  Before I get the stats, I always need to be reminded about the definition of these various generational categories.  As I look from research project to research project there are often different definitions – but they are all close.  So if you have a different number, it is understandable.

  • Gen Z:  born now to age 12
  • Millennials (sometimes also called Gen Y):  ages 13 – 33
  • Gen X:  ages 34 – 48
  • Boomers:  ages  49 – 67
  • Seniors:  68+

Many of our customers target the Millennials to help grow their business.  There is some good news about this market segment:

As the youngest of the segments that are active purchasers, many predicted they would be leading the online shopping movement which would impact brick and mortar businesses in the future.  So far they are quite committed to the in-store experience based on the following stats:

Millennials Love to ShopShopping, Millennials

The attitude about shopping (research from Urban Land Institute May 2012):

  • Love to Shop -  44% of women and 29% of men 
  • Shopping is a necessary chore they can deal with - 15% of women  vs 9% of men
  • 51% of women shop when it’s necessary and enjoy it when they do vs 45% of men

This might explain why Millenials are more likely than other generations to identify as “spenders” rather than “savers”.             

  • 81% of their spending is in brick and mortar retail locations
  • 50% shop in-store every week

They make up a third of all shopping visits.  They make slightly more than a third of the population, but since many are still school aged, the percentage shopping is quite high.  They are doing more shopping!  


When they do shop, their in-store conversion rates are not as high as other groups.  The important fact to realize though is if you can get them to like your business, they will spend more as they get older and their capacity to spend increases.

                In-store Conversion (makes a purchase, not just looking)

  • Millennials,  57%
  • Gen Xers,  66%
  • Boomers,  69%
  • Seniors, 72%

Some believe the lower conversion rates could be due to “showrooming”.  Showrooming is when consumers go to the stores to check out products and then go home and order them online.  “Webrooming” is the opposite – when consumers go online to check products and then go into the store to buy.

A study done by Urban Land Institute showed that for certain products webrooming was more prevalent that showrooming:

  • Electronic items:  50% prefer to research online and buy in-store compared to 11% who research in-store and buy online.
  • Shoes:  25% prefer to research online and buy in-store compared to 10% research in-store.
  • Sports Equipment:  21% research online vs 13% research in-store
  • 45% of respondents spend at least 1 hour per day checking out retail-oriented sites

What does all this mean?  Millennials are an important segment to target because of their size and their love for shopping.  Connecting with this generation will continue to evolve and you need to watch the trends to see where they are looking.  Clearly social and mobile are core components of their life, so connecting with texts, tweets, posts are all methods to be tried and tested.  Depending on the type of business, text has been quite effective in generating responses to timed offers.

Looking for a solution to connect with Millennials?  Check out Simpli.

Have a great day!

Cathy Harms

VP Marketing

Cathy Harms

Tags: Loyalty Marketing, Tecmark, Customer Experience, Business/Branding