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US Millennial Shopping Habits SMG Human Experience Center September 2012

What drives retail choice?

Value is the primary driver of retail choice US Millennials are a very price sensitive bunch. Whether students, new to the workforce, or still trying to break into their careers, they are doing it tough within a tough economy. This is the ‘discount generation’ and they savvily seek out discounts, coupons, sales and better prices before they commit to buy. Implication: Retailers that consistently represent value win Millennial brand fans

I want to know you stock the brands I LOVE rather than stock brands & products everyone love Millennials love choice, but they want it curated in a way that makes it feel customised to them as individuals. As a result, the notion of a ‘big range’ generally is less important than having an extensive range of the brands THEY love personally. They want to know a retailer has more of what they want/need/love, rather than just ‘more’ Implication: Retailers need reframe the notion of ‘more’ to be customised to deliver ‘more for you’ to meet the fast paced attention span of Millennials

Convenience is key Millennials have grown up digital, and shopping online and on the go via mobile is a seamless part of their retail behaviour. As a result, convenience is a key driver of not only store choice, but also how and when they buy.

Implication: Bricks and mortar retailers increasingly need to match the simplicity, ease and convenience of the online experience, or will lose Millennial shoppers.

Who are their retail favourites?

Millennials think ‘retail’ – not online / offline When we asked US Millennials to share their favourite retailers, it was telling that online and offline brands naturally sat side by side. This generation has grown up shopping online, and as a result online brands like Amazon, eBay, Gilt and Asos are now a firm part of their repertoire, delivering on their key pressure points of price, customised range and convenience.

The online experience has altered their expectation of the whole retail experience Crowdsourcing Opinion

Seamless buying

Easily searchable range

Always available

“I love the reviews”

“I like to make wishlists of things as I shop”

“You can find pretty much everything”

“I can pre-order”

“I can read or rate products”

“Free shipping & returns”

“You can find every item imagineable on there”

“I can order things that aren’t in stock

What else makes a retail favourite? Price / Value

eBay, Amazon, TJ Maxx, Target

“I love Amazon, I can choose just about anything at an amazing price”


Walmart, Kohls

“Stepping into Walmart is like walking into your home”

Store ‘Community’

Lululemon, Apple, Best Buy

‘Lululemon has beautiful clothes, high quality. They host yoga classes, it feels like a community’

Fresh Trend for Less

Forever 21, H&M

“H&M has so many great, current, affordable items”

US Millennial Shopping Habits  
US Millennial Shopping Habits