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Millennial & Teens’ 10 Favorite Places To Shop (Online & Off)

We asked 13-33-year-olds to tell us their favorite place to shop online and their favorite place to shop in a physical store…

Young consumers’ spending power matters. The generation has the potential to be the largest spending group in history, and by 2020 the oldest Millennials will be entering their peak earning years, but already their spending is proving powerful. One example: Millennials are reportedly the “driving force for the overall year-over-year increase in spending” during the holiday season. A recent poll from Rubicon Project revealed that 39% of Millennials have already started shopping for the holidays this year, and they plan to spend 33% more than last year on average. The survey also found almost three in ten Millennials have no intention stepping into a physical store for their shopping.

According to our survey, young consumers are split on their preference for shopping online or offline. In general, if choosing between the two, 53% of 13-33-year-olds would rather shop in a physical store, and 47% would rather shop online—an almost even divide. But over half of males, and just over half of 18-33-year-olds would rather shop online. Not surprisingly, Millennials are leading the pack in online shopping. According to UPS research, 54% of Millennials’ total purchases have been made online for 2016 so far, compared to 49% of non-Millennials’.

With their increasing online shopping habit in mind, we’ll start with the favorite places to shop online for young consumers. We asked 1000 13-33-year-olds, “Regardless of category, what is your favorite place to shop online?”* Here are their top 10 responses:

*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of young consumers’ favorite places to shop. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind, and those that are actually most enjoyed. The lists are ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred. 

Their Favorite Place to Shop ONLINE


  1. Amazon

  2. Ebay

  3. Etsy

  4. Forever 21

  5. Walmart

  6. Target

  7. ASOS

  8. Victoria’s Secret

  9. Sephora

  10. Old Navy / Nordstrom

Once again, Amazon won young consumers’ votes by a landslide as their favorite place to shop online. Roughly 60% of respondents named the online marketplace as their top spot to shop online. As we saw last year, the immense variety of products they can find there—and the seamless shopping experience that it creates—is a huge draw. One female 21-year-old said of the site, “I can find all the things. All the things. Do I want a jar of peanut butter with my coloring book? Yes. Yes, Amazon, I do.” “One stop shopping” is very popular with a generation short on time and patience. Speaking of patience, Amazon’s ability to get the products they want to them in no time flat—thanks largely to Prime—was also frequently mentioned. But Amazon also offers the peer-reviews that they live by. One 30-year-old male told us, “They have a variety of products and a ton of reviews. I rarely purchase something online before reading a review.”

Amazon ruled the top spot as favorite online store among all groups:

There were some differences between males, females, and teens and older Millennials’ online shopping preferences, with Target making the top five list for both females and 18-33-year-olds. That’s not the only good news for the retailer. They also won the coveted top spot in 13-33-year-olds’ favorite place to shop in a physical store: 

Their Favorite Place to Shop OFFLINE


  1. Target

  2. Walmart

  3. Kohl’s

  4. Forever 21

  5. Thrift stores / Goodwill / Salvation Army

  6. H&M

  7. Barnes and Noble

  8. GameStop

  9. Macy’s

  10. TJ Maxx

Target is another “one stop shopping” empire, which is clearly resonating with young shoppers. And though Walmart is as well, Target won out as their favorite, with one 21-year-old female telling us the store has, “Cheap stuff but still a step above Walmart.” Design and discovery were frequently mentioned as reasons why Target is a favorite—especially by females. One 22-year-old explained, “It’s the best “we have everything” store and I always find something cool I usually don’t need but buy anyway,” and a 27-year-old female said, “There are so many different things to look at. I like going to target just to check out all their new products in every department.”

Once again, there were slight differences in age and gender offline shopping preferences, but Target maintained high ranking throughout: 

To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.