The Problem With Millenials & Their Shopping Habits

embedPhotographed by Molly DeCoudreaux.
According to a new survey, people between the ages of 14 and 34 "engage in almost nonstop shopping," both online, in brick-and-mortar stores, and via social media. Should be music to marketers' ears, right? But, there's only one problem: All of this shopping doesn't necessarily result in actual purchases. Which means that brands have huge hurdles to overcome if they're going to convert young browsers into buyers.
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WWD reports that The Intelligence Group polled 1,300 millennials aged 18 to 34 and a subset of "Generation Z’ers" from the ages of 14 and 17. The poll found that while young practice the aforementioned near-constant engagement with products, brands, and services, they're surprisingly non-acquisitive, with 36% of respondents reporting that they only buy things they deem "necessary." Nearly two-thirds of millenials reported that they research online before buying in a store, which threatens the traditional casual spending that comes with window-shopping brick-and-mortar shops.
Interestingly, though, the study notes that while this generation is less spend-friendly, they "directly influence about $600 million in U.S. consumer spending every year." Jamie Gutfreund, chief strategy officer of The Intelligence Group noted that that may be because older folks turn to their Gen Z relatives to research their purchases. That and the fact that this generation's spending, which currently totals $200 billion a year, is expected to double by 2020, means that millenials still hold massive purchasing power and will continue to be fêted by marketers. Even if their wallets don't open that often yet. (WWD)
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