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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“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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