Millennial Shoppers are Rapidly Abandoning Brick and Mortar, New Report Shows

April 5, 2019
5 young men and women are in a row at a table all holding tablets or phones, looking down and using them.

Millennials are the largest generation in American history, and their shopping habits are worlds away from those of their parents. Thanks to the rapid pace of digitalization and new shopper-friendly tools, like browser extensions and voice assistants, retailers must be ready to embrace significant change. To help retailers stay ahead, CouponFollow, a leading online couponing platform that helps shoppers quickly and easily save money, is announcing today its 2019 Millennial Shopping Report.

The report surveyed over 1,000 Millennials, between the ages of 22-37, exploring their shopping, spending, and saving behavior. By presenting a collection of retail and commerce related data, the report highlights how Millennial choices are impacting these industries overall.

“Millennials have officially grown up, and so have their shopping and spending habits,” says Marc Mezzacca, CEO of CouponFollow. “As Millennials move towards a fully digital shopping experience, online retailers—like Amazon—have a tremendous opportunity to further increase their market share by prioritizing speed, convenience, and savings across each touchpoint of the consumer journey.”

Key Survey Findings Include:

  • Online shopping has finally surpassed brick-and-mortar in popularity; 79% of Millennials say they browse online before making any purchase, whether in-store or online
  • Mobile transactions have increased 20% in 18 months, replacing desktop as the preferred method of online shopping for the generation
  • Amazon dominates Millennial spend: 97% of the generation say they use the platform for some portion of their online shopping
  • 95% of Millennials search for coupons on the Internet before making an online purchase and report spending more time searching for savings than in prior years
  • While a majority of the generation, 55%, own a smart speaker, less than 5% of Millennials used the device to make more than one purchase in 2018
  • 90% of Millennials are aware of cryptocurrency, but it hasn’t been widely utilized as a common method for payment in retail transactions.

The Millennial Shopping Report includes participants who represent a wide range of socioeconomic groups and income levels, with a fairly even split between men and women. The report also features useful comparisons to CouponFollow’s previous Millennial Shopping Report data from May, 2017.

“In our previous report, Millennials were still clinging to brick and mortar as their most utilized way of shopping. Since then, in just 18 months, digital shopping has surpassed in-store, led by a rapid 20% increase in mobile shopping preference.

Other findings from the report highlight a clear prioritization of discounts and couponing. 73% of Millennials admit they would try a product from a competitor of their favorite brand for a 20-40% discount. The potential to find discounts and incentives on brands’ social media channels has also drawn interest from this generation of shoppers, 70% of which now follow their favorite retailers on a variety of social platforms.

As the Millennial generation comes of age and embraces their massive spending power, retailers have an opportunity to shift their strategy to remain competitive. Future-focused brands can capture the Millennial dollar by improving and elevating their online shopping experience, and catering to a consumer segment that aggressively searches for the best deals and prices.

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