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Survey: Digital research drives strong millennial spending


Millennials are making more major purchases than any other group, but they are doing their research first.
According to a new consumer survey from TD Bank, millennials made, on average, nearly four major purchases in the past year, while Gen X and baby boomers combined averaged just 2.8 major purchases during that time. Survey data also indicates that millennials are more thoughtful about these major purchases in that they spend more time, on average, researching major purchases (4.4 hours) than any other group.

Compared to baby boomers and Gen-X, millennials are also more likely to research products through a retailer’s website, social media, and third-party websites; and more likely (39%) to research financing options than their elders (22%).

Millennials are also taking advantage of retail store cards. While the average overall number of retail cards held is about two and a half, millennials hold nearly three cards (2.9). They're also purchasing more than their older counterparts with these cards. Gen X and baby boomers use retail credit cards 1.8 and 1.3 times per month, respectively, while millennials use their cards 3.1 times per month.

While millennials are leading the way in increased spending, growth is also happening in other areas. According to the survey, Americans are spending $245 more per major purchase than they did in 2017, averaging a $1,884 price tag on their last major purchase. Nearly seven in 10 respondents (69%) say they plan to make a large purchase in the next six months, up 10% from two years ago.

Additionally, more than half (57%) of respondents are creatures of habit, often picking the same brand when making major purchases. With regard to customer retention, 69% of respondents are members of a retailer loyalty program and cite that cashback and discounts are the most appealing and useful rewards.

The study was conducted for TD Bank by research company Maru/Matchbox using a targeted panel sample of 998 U.S. consumers who participate in holiday shopping. 

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