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Discover: Retailers should target this generation for a happy holiday

A strong mobile commerce offering will help retailers attract this holiday season’s highest-spending generation

Over a third of millennials plan to spend more money during the 2019 holiday season compared to 2018, and they will likely outspend other generations this gift-giving season, according to Discover’s annual Holiday Shopping Survey. Millennials say higher income and more people on their shopping list are two reasons for their boost in spending. And they also will overwhelmingly use their mobile devices to shop.

Results from the survey, which polled Gen Z, millennials, Gen X and baby boomers on their previous holiday shopping habits and upcoming plans to purchase, also indicate almost three-quarters (73%) of millennials will use a mobile device to shop for holiday gifts. In comparison, only 58% of Gen X, 48% of Gen Z and 32% of baby boomers plan to do mobile holiday shopping.

Credit card usage is trending upward among holiday shoppers. In 2019, 42% of respondents said they expect to use credit cards for most of their holiday gift purchases, compared to 38% in 2018 and 32% in 2017. Of those who plan to use credit cards for the majority of their holiday shopping, 55% said they mostly use credit cards to earn points and rewards. 

Other findings include:

  • 35% of millennials said they would spend more this holiday season than last. Following them are 26% of Gen Z, 23% of Gen X and 16% of baby boomers.
  • 39% of millennials plan to spend $750 or more on gifts, followed by 35% of baby boomers, 33% of Gen X and 11% of Gen Z who said they will spend $750 or more. 
  • 45% of millennials said they expect increased income to boost their holiday spending, compared to 28% of Gen X, 26% of baby boomers, and 20 percent of Gen Z.
  • 49% of millennials reported they have more people to shop for, followed by 43% of Gen Z, 37% of Gen X and 36% of baby boomers.
  • Identity theft and fraud continue to be on shoppers’ minds, as 83% of all respondents reported some level of concern about it.

The national survey of 2,010 U.S. consumers ages 18 and up was commissioned by Discover and conducted by Dynata (formerly Research Now/SSI), an independent survey research firm.





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