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Study: Top reasons millennial parents prefer stores for BTS shopping


When it comes to sticking on budget, millennial parents prefer in-store shopping over digital commerce for back-to-school purchases.

Sixty-five percent of millennial parents believe shopping in-store enables them to more effectively remain within budget goals compared to shopping online, according to a study commissioned by Citi Retail Services. These parents plan to do the majority, 72% on average, of back-to-school shopping in a store rather than online this year.

Remaining on budget is not the only reason millennial parents prefer shopping in-store. Other top reasons are: trying on clothing and testing items (63%); including their child in decisions on what to buy (60%); more easily comparing products (48%); and getting better deals (43%)

The survey indicated that 91% of millennial parents feel that they consider their child’s opinion when back-to-school shopping more than their parents did when they were young. This stat signals that new parents are increasingly leaning on their children's recommendations and input for back-to-school products, the report noted.

“More millennials are entering parenthood, which is having a profound impact on retailers,” said Leslie McNamara, managing director and executive VP of business and market development for Citi Retail Services. “These parents place tremendous value on their children’s opinions when shopping and are not as swayed by brand on big ticket items like electronics. Retailers can incorporate this into their approach when marketing to millennials, whose habits may defy generalizations as they enter the next stage of their lives.”

The survey revealed that millennial parents do not view back-to-school shopping as exclusively limited to the summer before school starts. Nine out of ten parents expect to buy some items after their child’s first day of class.

On average, they anticipate having more than a quarter (27%) of their back-to-school shopping left after the first day of school. Furthermore, these parents do not expect to have bought their last item until four weeks after the start date, which can mean back-to-school shopping remains a priority for parents into the fall months.

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