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Trends and Outliers

TIBCO Spotfire's Business Intelligence Blog


Data Analysis of the Holiday Shopping Habits of Millennials

Typically, younger shoppers buy more than older shoppers – no news flash there.

shutterstock 161371349 300x218 Data Analysis of the Holiday Shopping Habits of MillennialsBut this holiday season, there’s a bit of a twist when it comes to the shopping habits of Gen Y, aka millennials. They’re doing more browsing online, hoping to be hit with lightning bolts of inspiration that will lead them to the perfect holiday gifts for friends and family.

That’s according to the data analysis of the shopping habits of millennials done by Horizon Media.

“Millennials are roaming the aisles virtually, looking for inspirations for holiday purchases. They are using sites like Etsy and Open Sky to help them figure out what they want to buy people this year,” Sheri Roder, chief of the WHY Group, Horizon Media’s consumer insights group, tells MediaPost.

But millennials also want information about the items that strike their fancy – and they turn to the Internet to get that info as well.

People under 35 are nearly one and a half times more likely to hit up online sources for both inspiration and information than older consumers, according to Roder.

And for all you marketers trying to figure out how to cater to Gen Y, Roder has some other tips:

Lists are so last year in cyberspace: Rather than getting lists from the people they’re buying for, more millennials are wandering around stores – virtually – looking for that inspiration, Roder says. “The younger they are, the more they are roaming around the web,” she notes.

Gen Y is on a mission in bricks-and-mortar stores: “They’ve checked the price before they went in, and know what they want and how much it costs,” Roder says. “They are likely to check things on their phones again, and more likely to find the same item at a better price at the other end of the mall.”

But it’s not really a generational thing: It’s more about lifestyle than generation, according to Roder. “We are looking at this group right up to age 34, and while marketers tend to think of them as kids, they are grown-ups, with jobs and families,” she notes. “And if you have children, obviously, you shop for the holidays in a completely different way, spending more on your kids. So their basket is larger.”

Keeping up with the Joneses? Not so much: The data indicates that most millennials “feel keeping up with the Joneses doesn’t apply to them.” It might be that they’ve been hit harder economically than other groups.

Some follow the retail calendar: There’s a subgroup of Gen Y who shop just because a store tells them to. “One subgroup, which we’ve named Youthful Pursuits, are very image driven. They do want to keep up, and are very reactive to sales,” Roder says. “They tend to be the youngest, and have the least money. Another group, who we’ve named the Confident Connecteds, are more purposeful. They make their own way.”

Next Steps:

  • To help you get the most out of your online store this holiday season, we invite you to watch our complimentary on-demand webcast: “Gain Insight into Your Brand’s Online Retail Shelf Space.” In our webcast, you’ll learn how Catalyst combines its proprietary eShelf Engine technology with Spotfire analytics and interactive visualizations to deliver deep insights to the competitive positioning of your products on online retail shelves.
  • Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on the latest insights and trends in data analysis and retail.

Linda Rosencrance
Spotfire Blogging Team


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