What Luxury Products Are Millennials Actually Buying?

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

We asked Millennials what luxury products they’re actually buying. Find out where they’re allocating their spending power…

Yesterday, we told you about the luxury brands Millennials most want to own. And while their answers give us insight into their aspirational purchases—and into what brands are staying relevant—what they’re actually buying today tells a bit of a different story.

Traditional luxury stores and brands are striking out with young consumers. In 2016, the global luxury market shrunk for the first time since 2009, according to CNBC, and Forbes predicts that 2017 is not expected to fare much better. A recent brand equity poll shows Nordstrom is losing favor with Millennials as they skip luxury department stores for off-price options, and MediaPost reported that while the full-price store’s sales showed a 2.8% drop from 2016, discount chain Nordstrom Rack’s sales spiked 2.4%. In other words, Millennials like their premium products, but not at a premium price: a recent Ypulse monthly survey found that 60% of 18-35-year-olds say they’d prefer to buy products that are a “good value for the money” and 33% would prefer things that are “premium but affordable,” versus 5% who prefer to buy “top quality.”

This gets at the heart of the issue for Millennials: it’s all about their bottom line, and their values. According to Forbes, the biggest problem with the luxury market is that today’s consumers “look at what the luxury brands offer and see that they are heavy on marketing, but light on authentic values that really mean something to them personally and in their current lifestyle. While this is giving whole new industries the chance to be considered luxury, it’s also creating an atmosphere where luxury is in the eye of the beholder. All of which begs the question: what kinds of…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “The [financial] industry has been slow to adapt to the ways in which young people want to be communicated with and to communicate with each other.”—Ian Rosen, CEO, StockTwits (YPulse)

Instagram users can now purchase products without leaving the app. The platform’s shopping tags are evolving to allow users to check out directly inside the app from about 20 retailers using saved payment and shipping information. The move doesn’t just give Facebook a direct cut of each sale, but also allows the platform to collect data that they’ll leverage in their ad targeting. Instagram’s influence over young consumers’ purchases continues to skyrocket, and according to our Shoppability trend, 72% of Gen Z & Millennials are open to buying products on social media. (Recode)

Disney and MAC Cosmetics are debuting a nostalgic makeup line for Aladdin fans. The Disney Aladdin collection features lipstick, an eyeshadow palette, and bronzer in jewel and metallic hues that Princess Jasmine might wear with her bright turquoise outfit. The partnership is part of the lead-up to the live-action Aladdin’s debut, and isn’t MAC’s first time introducing fans to whole new worlds of Disney-themed cosmetics. In the past, they’ve also released Cinderella and Disney villains-themed lines. (Teen Vogue)

Google announced their ambitious plan to become “the future of gaming:” a cloud-based streaming service called Stadia. Gamers will be able to play across device (phones, TVs, tablets, etc.) without waiting for the title to load in a YouTube-connected setting. That means viewers can instantly play titles featured in videos and stream their own gameplay to YouTube—which could challenge industry leader, Amazon-owned Twitch. The Netflix-like service is set to launch this year. (The Verge)

Instagrammable dim sum is going global. The craze stared in Hong Kong, where Social Places serves up bao made to look like tiny pigs and charcoal custard bao filled with “a thick liquid that oozes out like lava,” introducing three or four new incarnations each month to keep customers coming back. Meanwhile at Disneyland Hong Kong, Crystal Lotus customers dine on buns that look like their favorite animated characters, including Frozen's Olaf. In the U.S., San Francisco’s Chili House and New York’s RedFarm are some of the first to take on the trend. (Bloomberg)

Netflix’s next choose-your-own-adventure series lets viewers chart Bear Grylls’ journey through the wilderness. Soon, Netflix viewers will have the chance to become outdoors experts from the comfort of their couches, as they make the survival show celebrity’s choices as he traverses tricky situations. Grylls himself says that he’s “giving viewers an all-access pass to explore the world and its landscapes in my boots” and that “For the first time, my survival is in your hands.” (THR)

Quote of the Day: “One of the biggest myths about Millennials is that they do not want to engage with human beings, especially if a chatbot, app, or a website can be deployed.”—Xiomara Lorenzo, Director, Society of Grownups (YPulse)

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