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What you need to know about Millennial holiday shoppers


Younger shoppers make up the demographic group most likely to visit physical stores Thanksgiving weekend, but retailers had better be ready to offer the digital natives an ominchannel experience, according to new research from a leading retail trade group.

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reports that 25-34 year-olds are most likely to shop in a store on Thanksgiving Day (32%) and Millennials (18-24 year-olds) are most likely to shop in stores on Black Friday (63%). Of those consumers planning to shop in a store on Thanksgiving Day, the No. 1 reason cited by 51% of them is getting a head start on bargains. However, 45% of consumers said it is an opportunity for a fun outing with family and friends.

“While shopping and bargain-hunting is certainly still synonymous with the Black Friday shopping weekend, our research found that many consumers will also use these outings to spend time with family and friends, as well as take advantage of holiday activities and entertainment being offered in shopping centers,” said Jesse Tron of ICSC.

The ICSC study also reports that consumers continue to make use of mobile and online tools when in a store or shopping center to enjoy a fully omnichannel experience. The survey found that 45% of shoppers expect to use a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet to research holiday-related items or gifts while in a physical store, with Millennials as the most likely demographic to participate in webrooming.

Of those consumers planning to use their mobile devices to research purchases while in-store, 61% say they will buy the item in store as opposed to online, 27% will buy from their device and 12% won’t buy anything. The top five reasons consumers cited for buying in-store were:

  • They wanted to touch and feel the product

  • They didn’t want to pay for shipping

  • They wanted instant gratification and didn’t want to wait for shipping

  • They felt the store would offer a better price than online

  • It was more convenient

The Millennial age group specifically listed the “need to immediately have the item (instant gratification) and not wait for it to be shipped” as the No. 1 reason to buy in-store.

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