Holiday shopping is here, and just like in years past we’re seeing old traditions fade away and new traditions come alive. The fact that fewer people, especially Millennials, are using retail stores is certainly not breaking news. But if retailers expect to gain Millennials’ business this year they better pay attention to what shopping trends have become the new normal. We’ll take you through the process of how Millennials are shopping and buying their gifts this holiday season to make sure you have a stress-free holiday shopping experience.
Keep Reading: How to Save During the Holidays
How millennials are shopping
The hardest part about picking out a gift for someone is often not how we buy the product. Retailers are making it easier than ever to buy gifts online, in the store and their offering multiple delivery options. What retailers should really pay attention to this year, and what the savvy shoppers are doing is looking for the easiest ways to pick out a gift. Follow these steps and suggestions to make your shopping experience as simple as possible this holiday season.
Millennials value their time – Okay, maybe everyone values their time, but Millennials are constantly searching for the fastest way to find a solution. A study conducted by Google and Ipsos found that 80% of folks who use their smartphones for shopping did their shopping while conducting some other activity. Retailers beware! Millennials are shopping for gifts while waiting in line to buy gifts, or while they're waiting for that customer service inquiry to be answered.
Millennials use videos and social media to shop – Millennials came of age during the Great Recession, and price is an issue when it comes to shopping. So what are savvy shoppers doing to find the best deals? Experts indicate that Millennials are using tips they obtain via social media. In fact, it’s being used as the number one means to find the best deals, and it enables consumers to become more educated about products. Experts are telling us that retailers have not quite caught onto this trend, but that shouldn’t hinder your ability to use social media to your advantage.
Another means that Millennials are using to shop this holiday season is online videos. YouTube has many holiday gift guide videos that give tons of suggestions for all kinds of gifts. Check out Zoella or iJustine for a plethora of videos giving fresh gift ideas.
Millennials get the data – It’s worth noting that according to Google mobile device searches for the “best” retail product is up 50% in 2016. Not only that, but data indicates that Millennials are very much paying attention to consumer reviews. They weigh heavily on decisions to buy a particular product.
How Millennials are buying – Every holiday season we hear about how visits to retail stores are becoming rarer and rarer. Well, it’s not dead yet, but Millennials and others are making far fewer trips to the store. Millennials desire ease of access and incentives to guide their holiday shopping habits. Take a look at some of the trends the experts have identified for holiday shopping.
Millennials value ease – Everyone knows that retail store shopping is dying and that shopping remotely is on the rise. But it’s not shopping on the internet that’s on the rise, but rather via smartphone applications. Retailers are scrambling to make their apps useful and easy for consumers to use and Millennials are all over this trend. Unfortunately, many retailers will be missing out on business because too few have caught on (we’re not talking about you Amazon and Google).
Related: How To Stick To Your Holiday Budget
According to Google’s study of last year’s holiday season, the number one incentive for buying a product was free shipping. More than discounts, deals, and coupons Millennials don’t want to go shopping and don’t want to have to pay for their gifts to be delivered. What’s interesting about this is data indicates that if the right incentive is offered Millennials have no problem going to the store to pick it up. As mentioned before Millennials are savvy shoppers, and it’ll take more than a quality product to reel them in.
Millennials value a good deal – While ease of buying is a big deal to Millennials the price of the product is still the number one factor that influences their buying decisions. Most Millennials will use Google and Amazon to compare prices for items they find, and experts tell us that this ability to compare prices on the fly is making it easier than ever to find the best deals. In fact, almost 90% of Millennials use Google or Amazon as their first choice for comparing prices on their smartphone.
Discounts are great and everybody loves a good deal, but when it comes to Millennials they value a higher rebate over instant savings. Retailers can go ahead and try to make it difficult to redeem, or even count on the rebate not being redeemed but most Millennials are too smart. They do redeem their rebates, and they will not come back if the process is deceptive or is a hassle.
Millennials really value ease – Okay, you can take all of these tips and factors into consideration and still end up buying gift cards for your loved ones. Google reports that last year 7 out of 10-holiday shoppers received a gift card. When it comes to gift cards we understand that there are other factors at play than ease. An overwhelming majority of shoppers are mindful of identity theft and believe gift cards are the safest gifts to buy online.
Plenty of data has been collected, and the trends speak for themselves. Millennials want to be able to do as much of their holiday shopping using their mobile device or smartphone as possible. You can’t blame them – people use these devices every day and are very familiar with them. If you decide to join them then you’ll be ahead of the curve in future years. Did we mention that Millennials are the biggest demographic (even more than baby boomers)? Retailers will cater to their desires for a better shopping experience, and the rest will be along for the ride. We wish you happy hunting while shopping during this holiday season.