The Real Data On Millennials’ & Gen Z’s Holiday Shopping

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Holiday sales exceeded expectations, so we checked in with young consumers to find out all about how, where, and how much they spent this season...

Retailers had high hopes for Millennial and Gen Z spending this holiday season, and the optimism paid off. Several studies declared that this would be the biggest shopping season yet for 13-35-year-olds, with The National Retail Federation, RetailDive, and more predicting that young consumers would spend more than any other generation. EMarketer also predicted that this boost would be particularly prominent for online shopping, forecasting that total retail sales were expected to grow just 3.1% while online sales were predicted to jump 16.6%. Our own research showed that retailers would have quite a haul this year: four in five Millennials told Ypulse that they planned to shop for the holidays this year. We calculated their spending power could be over $25 billion, based on their own estimates of what they planned to spend on gifts for others and themselves.

So how did it all turn out? Even better than expected, according to The NRF. While they predicted an increase of between 3.6% and 4% over 2016, holiday sales during November and December actually increased 5.5%. And the International Council of Shopping Centers found that overall spending rose by 18%. According to Ypulse’s Post-Holiday Shopping Topline, 83% of 13-35-year-olds shopped this holiday season, and they reported spending an average of over $750. This is a significant increase over last year, when they spent an average of just under $500. To get a better sense of when they spent that money and how, we asked 1000 13-35-year-olds to tell us the days they shopped, and where they went to do it:

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Like last year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the biggest shopping days for…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I eat [Pizza Hut] least two times per month; it's one of my favorite places to go to eat pizza.”—Male, 35, VA

More Millennials are asking for cash wedding registries, and it’s bad news for stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams Sonoma. Increasingly, young couples are asking guests to contribute towards their nest egg, travel, or anything they feel like buying themselves. Companies like Zola and Honeypot have boomed in popularity, offering a personalized platform for their cash registries. However, their success with wedding registries is taking “a key customer acquisition tool” away from home décor stores. (Insider)

The beauty industry is catering to Customization Nation, as more companies crop up to blend unique beauty products for each customer. But can the trend scale? Truly personalized products, like the ones offered by hair care start-up Function of Beauty and makeup company Bite Beauty, take time and resources. But companies that offer base products with just a personalized element or two could be the future of the industry. And big-name brands are getting their feet wet too: Lancôme and CoverGirl have both offered custom-made foundations. (Glossy)

Nordstrom is taking risks to survive retail’s big shifts. Instead of shuttering stores, they’re opening experimental retail locations, revamping their department stores, and making their mark in Manhattan with their first store openings. The long-standing brand also bought ecommerce site HauteLook and the subscription service Trunk Club. So far, their risk-taking hasn’t proved to be a boon to their bottom line—but only time will tell. (WSJ)

Hollister is teaming up with AwesomenessTV to reach Gen Z with a YouTube series. “The Carpe Life” will be a part of a broader campaign, which includes influencer marketingand appeals to young consumers’ love for active, adventurous lifestyles. "The Carpe Life" follows Hollister's first YouTube series, “This is Summer” which “boosted key brand metrics by double digits,” adding on to their overall positive impact on Abercrombie & Fitch’s rising bottom line. (Marketing Dive)

Netflix is switching its strategy, putting less money into “prestige films” for the Post-TV Gen. Instead, they’re churning out more direct-to-video releases. Last year, they bought ten titles at Sundance while this year they had none. While they continue to create original content like the recent The Cloverfield Paradox, they’re betting on less-than-award-worthy films to maintain their hold on Millennial viewers. (The Atlantic)

“Basically if I found out any brand was supporting causes I do not support and actively oppose, I will avoid buying their products.”—Female, 27, CA

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