The Gift Millennials & Gen Z Really Want for the Holidays Can’t Be Found on Shelves

No, the new iPhone is not the top item on Gen Z’s & Millennials’ holiday wishlists. We asked what they really want, and found the 18 gifts that are most desired by young consumers this year…

We’re about to hit peak holiday shopping season, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday right around the corner—and spending predictions have been coming in hot. Back in August, eMarketer reported that a major boost is predicted for holiday season sales—but mostly online. While total retail sales are expected to grow just 3.1%, ecommerce is predicted to jump nearly 17%, widening the “gap” between the two—a pattern we saw among Millennials last year. Online holiday shopping will reportedly make up 11.5% of total holiday season sales, and 9% of 2017’s retail total. Millennials aren’t just boosting online holiday shopping, they’re also predicted to boost overall spending. The International Council of Shopping Centers predicts a 3.8% rise in retail sales year over year, and found that nearly 92% of Millennials plan to spend some of their holiday budget in-store.

Our recent holiday shopping survey looked closely at Millennials and Gen Z’s holiday shopping plans, from where they plan to buy to how much they’re planning to spend. But of course, these generations aren’t just shaping their own holiday spending—they’re also impacting what older generations spend on. With Boomers and Xers buying presents for their Millennial and Gen Z kids, what young consumers want for the holidays is just as important on what they plan to buy themselves. (Oh, and almost half do plan to buy themselves something.) To find out what their biggest holiday gift desires are, we asked 1000 13-35-year-olds, “What ONE thing is at the top of your holiday wishlist?”* We’ve got their top 18 responses, and no, the iPhone X is not the…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

“I think we have a tendency to think that the world revolves around us and what we want and having a hard time to live up to the standards of having/living a perfect life.”—Female, 22, WA

A new quiz app’s R-rated categories are capturing teens’ attention. FriendO is rising through the ranks of the app store, but not by following the Play Nice, PG strategy that took tbh viral. FriendO users move up their friends’ rankings boards as they answer questions about each other, proving their friendship. If someone sends the app to three friends, they unlock NSFW categories like MSFK (Marry, Sex, Friend, Kill). But people are worried that none of these categories are barred to young users. (Mashable)

TGI Fridays is adding Instagrammable milkshakes to their menu with “cascading toppings,” “suspiciously” similar to Black Tap’s infamous creations. The “Extreme” milkshakes “take dessert to the next level” with a seasonal option piled high with Christmas cookies, and a s’mores shake topped with marshmallows, Oreos, and graham cracker crumbs. If that’s not enough to get Millennials in the door of chain restaurants that they notoriously avoid, both shakes can be ordered “boozy” (a tactic we’ve seen before). (Grub Street)

Seventeen is creating an LGBTQ community for teens with their new, “social-first” platform, Here. Instagram and Facebook form the main hub of Here, along with a dedicated vertical on Seventeen itself. Launched less than a week ago, content is already popping up on social and the site. Seventeen is appealing to the Genreless Generation, and one editor said Here will be “a resource and a place for teens to express themselves.” (Fashionista)

Rising musician Tallia Storm says her Instagram paid for her debut album. Lauded by Sir Elton John and Nile Rodgers, 19-year-old Storm leveraged The Influencer Effect for her own gain: Her debut album, Teenage Tears, was entirely self-financed via her earnings as a “fashion ‘it girl’” and Instagram influencer with over 300,000 followers. As a result, she had full creative freedom and became a “part of the growing staple of acts who are not repped by a major label.” Oh, and she got to open for Sir Elton John. (PR Newswire)

Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner’s online-only beauty brand sensation, has teamed up with Topshop to drive young shoppers in-store. Brick-and-mortar is far from dead, with research from TABS Analytics showing 66% of shoppers prefer to purchase new cosmetics in-store—and brands like this one are betting on IRL retail. Kylie Cosmetics is now available at seven Topshop stores across the country for just five weeks, and they’re accruing long lines of fans to test out the coveted lip kits in person. (BuzzFeed)

“…[Rick and Morty] has our generation's sense of nihilism, fear of wasted time, humor in unpredictability, and shy optimism in human relations.”—Female, 17, TX

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies