A recent article published in Payment Source reported that globally, 82% of millennials (aged 18-38) prefer to shop in stores rather than online, according to a survey of 6,000 consumers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, China and Brazil conducted by Accenture. While millennials often research the products online, this study suggests that millennials prefer to shop in stores, despite their reputation as primarily online and mobile shoppers.
Millennials are expected to be the highest-spending group this holiday season, estimating they’ll spend $775, compared to $658 for all age groups combined, according to Accenture.
Even though they may browse online first, millennial shoppers ultimately want to see the merchandise up close and complete the transaction in person, according to research by SmarterHQ, which found in 2017 that half of millennials prefer shopping in-store.
The in-store experience is critical to consumers as most U.S. consumers, even young adults still shop in stores than online. However, consumers are using their smartphones and tablets even while shopping in stores to enhance their shopping experience, read reviews, research products better and compare prices, find discounts, use their loyalty cards or rewards and even order ahead for pick up in stores. According to our latest Customer Merchant Experience study conducted in March 2018, at least 70% or more of young adults aged 18-34 primarily shop in stores in nearly every retail category outside of airline/travel/hotel and online retailers and services. When asked about changes in consumers’ shopping habits over the past year, the biggest change by far was that half of U.S. consumers say they are more likely to research products online before buying anything, with little difference among adults aged 18-64, though only 40% of seniors said so. Even more telling, is that 67% of consumers use their mobile phones to shop for goods and services online and 82% of them used them to help while shopping in stores, as noted in our latest study on mobile payments, Mobile Payments: Still Waiting for Broader Adoption in the U.S. Consumers still primarily shop in stores for most products, but engage on their phones if they can improve their experience. Nearly half of consumers and 2 in 3 young adults order ahead online or by mobile device to avoid lines, when consumers need a product fast, to use an offer before it expires. Young adults are twice as likely as average to do so by mobile device. Millennials are looking for value and stores with products that match their lifestyle. They are more likely to go to stores that will match online prices, so they don’t have to wait for delivery, and shop in stores that are attractively designed, allowing them to use mobile self-checkout on their smartphone, and where friends and family shop too.
Overview by Karen Augustine, Manager, Primary Data Services at Mercator Advisory Group