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What Are Millennials & Gen Z Planning to Buy on Black Friday & Cyber Monday?

Black Friday & Cyber Monday are next week, and we found out the top 20 items that Millennials & Gen Z plan to put in their IRL or virtual carts…

Millennials and Gen Z are savvy shoppers who love deals—so is it any surprise that they love Black Friday and Cyber Monday? In general, these generations have a budget in mind when they holiday shop, and Nasdaq reports that Millennials are setting the standard for finance-savvy holiday shopping. They’re the least likely to rack up debt, and the most likely to stick to their planned budget. A NerdWallet study looked into their holiday shopping and found just 40% of 18-34-year-olds incurred debt in 2016 compared to 58% of Gen Xers and 63% of Boomers. They also found that 49% percent of Millennials stuck to their budgets, compared to 40% of Gen Xers and 43% of Boomers.

So, unsurprisingly, the retail holidays focused on bargains are part of many young consumers’ plans. Ypulse’s holiday shopping survey and report found that this year 50% of 13-35-year-olds plan to shop on Black Friday, and 51% plan to shop on Cyber Monday—32% plan to shop both. Young shoppers are beginning to dominate the holidays: Natural Insight found that 45% of Black Friday shoppers are 18-29-years-old. Though Black Friday frenzy has faded somewhat, it’s not because young consumers are rejecting the day—they just don’t have to line up for hours and endure stampedes to get the deals in store. They’re moving their shopping online, and making Cyber Monday as big of an event. They’re also preparing: we found that the majority of Millennials and Gen Z who plan to shop on these days this year have gone online to research something that they want to buy. So, what are the in-demand items they’ll be bargain buying next week? We asked 800 13-35-year-olds, “What specific item are you planning to buy on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?” and we’ve got their top answers right here:

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of products that Millennials and Gen Z are planning to buy on the shopping holidays—without our preconceived ideas shaping their responses. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are most popular. The lists are ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred.

What Are They Planning to Buy on Black Friday Or Cyber Monday?


      1. Clothes
      2. Smartphone
      3. TV
      4. Electronics
      5. Tablet
      6. Laptop
      7. Household Goods / Appliances
      8. Shoes / Boots
      9. Shop Sales
      10. Video Games
      11. Toys
      12. Gaming Console / Computer
      13. Jewelry / Watch
      14. Smartwatch
      15. Computer
      16. Camera
      17. Makeup / Beauty Products
      18. Accessories
      19. Gifts
      20. Movies / BluRays / DVDs

It might surprise some that though tech fills the top ranking of items that young consumers are planning to buy for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, clothes are actually the number one item on the list. Young females drove the popularity of the response, with more than twice as many female consumers planning to shop for clothes on the sale holidays than males. Though a few mentioned specific clothing items, most just said “clothes” or “clothing” in general—indicating that what they buy will depend on the sales they find.

Smartphone is the second most popular item that young consumers plan to shop for next week—and this time there was a clearer brand on respondents’ minds. iPhone was the type of smartphone mentioned most, with some mentioning the iPhone X specifically. But interestingly, smartphones ranked higher on the list for one generation than another:

Millennials were more likely than Gen Z to say that they plan to buy a smartphone on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, while laptop was second on the list for the younger gen. Another major difference we should point out: household goods/appliances made the top five list for Millennials, signifying the phase of life these consumers are now in.

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