Popping Up for the Holidays: E-tailers Are Making the Leap Offline for Seasonal Shoppers

It’s a short holiday season this year, with fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than usual. With the cramped shopping season, a trip to the store is feeling pretty harried and rushed for Millennials, who are also often more comfortable buying gifts from behind a screen than then getting stampeded in a store. Cyber Monday was a huge success, following a lackluster Black Friday—perhaps further solidifying the power of the online shopper. But still, shopping offline is a part of Millennials' holiday behavior—and they still plan to get out there with their shopping bags in hand. When we asked 14-29-year-olds where they planned to do the majority of their holiday shopping, 59% told us they would be shopping mostly in-store. As a generation that truly lives with one foot in the digital world and one foot out, it’s not too surprising that they plan to buy gifts that way as well, despite cries by some that they are spending all their time clicking on shopping carts instead of pushing them. Perhaps to match up with Millennials' online/offline mentalities, several online-only stores are bridging the gap into the offline shopper’s world, and bringing their wares to city sidewalks (busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style) for the season. Here are a handful of the usually online-only brands that are (somewhat surprisingly) setting up temporary shop IRL (in real life):  

1. Amazon Sells Kindles in SF

Though Amazon is a major player in the online shopping world during the holidays—a full 91% of 14-29-year-old Millennials who planned to shop online said they would be buying gifts on Amazon— it seems dominating the shopping lists on the internet wasn’t enough this year. The massive e-tailer set up a series of pop-up shops in malls throughout San Francisco to sell their Kindle…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “My favorite online celebrity is Jenna Marbles because she is hilarious and weird. I like how honest she is.”

— Female, 22, CA

Millennials are looking for multicultural products. According to a new Harris poll, over eight in ten 18-34-year-olds say they love exposure to different cultures, and about 32% say that purchasing and consuming foods with “multicultural flavors” is very important, compared to 27% of 35-44-year-olds and 45-54-year-olds. Almost half of Millennials also say they’re willing to spend more on brands that understand multicultural needs, and 65% agree they’re more likely to shop with a retailer that offers a wide selection of multicultural products.
(Drug Store News

National Geographic Kids is joining the chatbot revolution with a T-Rex bot. Tina the T-Rex is one of the latest bots to join Facebook Messenger, and was created to answer kids’ questions about dinosaurs. Tina’s ultimate goal is to sell subscriptions—she prompts users to sign up for the magazine at the end of conversations—and to let the brand get “into the mindset of its readers,” to form more personal relationships. Since Facebook accounts are limited to 13-year-old and older, National Geographic Kids hopes that, like their magazine, parents will use the bot along with their kids. (Digiday

Universal has discovered the “magic formula” to bring in Millennial dollars. According to a Foursquare analysis of foot traffic to theme parks, market share for Universal’s parks increased from 11% to 15-16% between 2014 to 2016, and almost half of the visitors during that time were 18-34-year-olds. Wizards and zombies are reportedly drawing in Millennials: Universal’s 2014 launch of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter spurred a 25% increase in visits mostly from Millennials for several weeks, and a recently opened Walking Dead attraction bought in 35% more Millennials than usual. (Skift

Brands who have jumped into VR may be making a very smart investment. A new survey from Greenlight VR reveals that over half of adult consumers say they are more likely to purchase from a brand that uses VR over a brand that doesn’t, most likely because 71% believe brands that use the technology seem more "forward-thinking and modern." Even consumers who have yet to try VR “had good things to say about the technology:” over nine in ten report “positive feelings” after watching an informational video on VR, 65% say they are interested in trying it, and 32% are surprised with its capabilities. (Adweek

GoldieBlox is continuing to go digital to spread the fundamentals of coding to kids. The educational brand “best known for its line of engineering toys aimed at young girls,” has launched their first paid app, GoldieBlox: Adventures in Coding. The puzzle-centric game follows Goldie, a young engineer delivering cupcakes, and asks players to “execute a sequence of commands,” to get her from one destination to another. The company has begun splitting their product development efforts between physical and digital, because “kids are spending increasingly more time playing on devices.” (TechCrunch

Quote of the Day: “You want me to list every concert I’ve been to in the past year? Are you nuts? I've been to like 30 so far this year.”

—Male, 29, NY

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