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What Millennials Are Shopping For & Who They’re Giving to This Holiday

We asked 800 18-34-year-olds all about their holiday gift buying plans, from who they’re shopping for to what they’re buying, and how much they’re planning to spend…

According to Ypulse’s recent holiday survey, 85% of 18-34-year-olds agree that they love giving presents—and ‘tis the season for Millennials to unleash their spending power potential. Over eight in ten told us they plan to shop for the holidays this year, and Millennials reportedly made good on their plans to shop this Thanksgiving weekend—making online sales soar in the process. The National Retail Federation found that eight in ten 18-34-year-olds shopped this past weekend, with 25-34-year-olds shopping the most. Overall, more shopped online than in-store (as we predicted), and online sales for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday increased 17.7% from last year, with mobile sales hitting a retail record of $1.2 billion, according to Adobe data.

A poll from Rubicon Project declared that Millennials could be the “driving force for the overall year-over-year increase in spending” during the 2017 holiday season, and other research is predicting that young consumers are planning to spend more than ever this year, with PwC reporting a 26% increase in 18-34-year-old spending from last year and Adobe reporting a 45% increase. We found that 18-34-year-olds who plan to buy gifts for others are planning to spend an average of $313.16—and that spending estimate increases to $455.46 among 30-34-year-olds. When we surveyed them in October, they also told us who they’re planning to spend that budget on:

The number one person on Millennials’ gifting list is Mom, with over eight in ten 18-34-year-old holiday shoppers planning to buy for her, and dad follows at a somewhat close second. We should note that almost half of Millennial holiday shoppers plan to buy a “gift” for themselves—and those who do plan to spend an average of $151.64. While lower on the list, pets actually beat out co-workers as likely gift recipients—not too surprising considering our past reporting on Millennials and their furry favorites.

Among the 9% who responded “Other,” a significant number plan to buy for their own kids, or nieces and nephews—of course, we’ll see this increase significantly as more Millennials become parents. Millennial parents estimated they would spend an average of $467.35 on gifts for others, nearly double the spending of non-parent Millennials.

Of course, we also asked all 18-34-year-olds what kinds of gifts they’re planning to buy: 

Clothes and money/gift cards are the most common gifts that Millennial holiday shoppers plan to give, followed by accessories and tech. 18-20-year-olds were the most likely to say they plan to buy clothing as gifts, with over six in ten saying that’s their gifting plan. 

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