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Most Gen Z and Millennials Will Be Black Friday Shopping—At Least Online

After an especially tough year financially, Black Friday / Cyber Monday are going to be an important part of holiday shopping for many young people… 


  • The majority of young consumers say the economy / inflation is impacting their holiday shopping
  • Three quarters of Gen Z and Millennials plan to shop Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals this year
  • The majority of those shoppers are planning to only shop online

Young consumers planned to start holiday shopping early this year because of the economy and inflation, but many were waiting for Black Friday deals to really check things off their list. While a few major retailers offered their holiday shopping deals early, most are kicking them off this week, and YPulse data shows young people will be all over these sales. Young consumers see holiday gifts as a token of appreciation to their loved ones; for Millennial parents they’re also a way to make up for tough years. Deal shopping allows them to keep their holiday shopping both manageable and up to their standards.  

So, while it’s always popular, retailers can expect a Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be especially important to young shoppers this year. In our Holiday Shopping report, we show exactly how many young consumers are planning to use Black Friday / Cyber Monday this year, and how they’ll be shopping for it:  

69% of 13-39-year-olds say the economy / inflation will impact their holiday shopping budget this year

The majority of young consumers say the economy / inflation will impact their holiday shopping budget this year—and YPulse data shows just how much. Gen Z and Millennials’ predicted they would spend an average at $242 on others and $145 on themselves for the holidays this year, nearly 30% less than their predicted budgets last year, and even lower than pre-pandemic. And 64% of young people say they’re going to give fewer gifts this year because they can’t afford it, but they also want to give personal gifts, and get exactly what their loved ones want. So these tight budgets make Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals all the more important to them. Two in five young consumers also tell YPulse they’ll be using pay-in-installment services (e.g. Klarna, Afterpay, etc.) to shop for the holidays so they can buy what they want. 

75% of 13-39-year-olds plan to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday

Three quarters of young consumers tell YPulse they’ll be shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday this year. And because of their tight budgets, 64% agree they’ll be relying on Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals this year. YPulse data shows that 60% of young consumers, and 80% of Black Friday / Cyber Monday shoppers, agree they would appreciate if brands released holiday deals earlier than Black Friday this year; some major retailers like Amazon and Target certainly made that wish come true, but others held out for the big wave of week-of shoppers.  

Despite their lower overall budgets, more than half of these young consumers say they plan to spend the same amount on Black Friday / Cyber Monday as they did last year. But 30% say they’ll spend more—likely meaning they’re aiming to put the bulk of their shopping on these sale days. YPulse’s Post-Holiday Shopping reports indicate that many young consumers spend above their predicted budgets, even in years like 2020.  

61% of Black Friday/Cyber Monday shoppers agree: "I will only shop online for Black Friday this year"

In-store shopping is absolutely a part of young consumers holiday retail plans this year, but doing all their holiday shopping in person is incredibly rare for these gens. The majority (73%) of young holiday shoppers say they’re planning to buy gifts through online retail this year. And 61% of Black Friday / Cyber Monday shopperssay they will only be shopping online for these retail holidays. A majority of sales now are offered both online and in-store (with many being online exclusive), so many want to take the opportunity to skip the crowds and the hassle. And 58% of these shoppers agree Black Friday and Cyber Monday should just be combined this year to be all online, emphasizing how much online shopping has become the norm for what people used to wait all night in lines for. 

The vast majority (77%) of young people also get gift ideas online, so it’s natural that that’s where they’ll want to purchase them. More specifically, 39% are getting gift inspiration on social media, and YPulse’s Social and Mobile Marketing Preferences report shows 83% of Gen Z and Millennials agree that if you are posting a social media ad there should be a direct link to purchase. Now that they’re on the hunt for gifts, they’ll likely be looking to get products right from the ads they see online, cutting out the need to search for the items on other sites or in-store—and 19% tell YPulse they’re already planning to shop for holiday gifts on social media. Social shopping is only growing in popularity with young consumers, and the number who plan to do all their holiday shopping online may be even more enticed by the ease of it.