Millennials are the largest generation in United States history, and their shopping habits are shaking up the retail industry. Currently thrift shops, both online and in physical locations, are outpacing the growth of traditional retailers by 20 times. Millennials want to ride share instead of owning cars, house share instead of getting a hotel room, stream movies instead of buying DCDs, and stream music instead of owning CDs. Retailers are closing at an alarming rate, and if they are going to survive they will have to adapt to Millennial shopping habits.
Recent bachelor’s degree grads are graduating with an average of $30k in student loan debt, which amounts to 80% of their annual yearly salaries. What’s more, they are making on average $2000 less per year than adults made in the 1980s. More debt and less income means there is less money to spend after the bills get paid, and Millennials’ shopping habits certainly reflect that reality.
Millennials are 4.6 times more likely to rent products online than other generations. This includes things like clothing, accessories, and even designer gowns. Why purchase these things when you can rent them? Millennials are also 2.3 times more likely to use ride sharing, ride hailing, and other sharing economy services than other generations. They even shop for groceries online - Millennials are 1.6 times as likely to use a grocery store app to order their groceries as other generations.
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Millennials know how to make good use of the internet and smartphones. They use their phones even when they are inside of a brick and mortar store in order to comparison shop and look for sales. They know they can find more information about a product online before they buy as well. In fact, 84% of Millennials use their smartphones for assistance while they are shopping, and 53% use their smartphones to look for coupons while they are shopping. They still overwhelmingly prefer to shop in a brick and mortar store, but they expect a cross-channel experience when they do.
Millennials are also much more environmentally conscious than other generations, citing environmental reasons much more often for shopping at thrift stores than other reasons. Millennials are 75% more likely to think of the environment when shopping at thrift stores than other secondhand shoppers.
Learn more about the habits of Millennial shoppers from this infographic. Can retail keep up with this changing lifestyle?