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Let's discover the shopping habits of Millennials, the first generation raised on the Internet

The Millennial generation, born between the 80’s and the 90’s, are digital natives and pioneers of the Internet era especially when it comes to online shopping.

Who are Millennials?

The Millennial generation or simply Millennials, is the generation born between the beginning of the 80’s up until the mid 90’s (usually, it’s considered the period between 1981 and 1996), also known as Generation Y. Millennials represent the first generation of so-called digital natives, a term which stands for people who have grown up with computers, devices, consoles and the Internet in general, from a very early age.

Here are a few stats to better understand the role of Millennials in the world nowadays:

  • They are the largest generation actually living, counting about 1,8 billion people around the world, thus 23% of the whole population;
  • Asia is the geographical area comprising most Millennials, with around 25% of the entire generation living there;
  • They are the most educated generation, with more than 1 on 5 reaching higher educational levels beyond secondary school education;
  • They are now the most influential generation in the world, representing those leading the workforce, and political and economic power.

Being a Millennial in the digital era

Being a Millennial means being a kind of hybrid citizen and consumer, born in a world still ‘unplugged’, analogue,  but increasingly involved in the evolution and spreading of disruptive connected technologies such as computers, electronic devices or consoles.

There’s no doubt that Millennials are actually the more digitally experienced generation, having a clear sense of both physical and digital environments and are thus aware of what the phygital dimension we’re heading to nowadays is and feels like. This is a great point to keep in mind to get an in-depth understanding of the following data.

millennials shopping

What are the shopping habits of Millennials?

Since Millennials represent the largest portion of the world’s population, it’s easy to realise that companies should give as much attention as possible to this target. Let’s take a quick look at the shopping habits of Millennials:

  • Besides food and utilities, they spend most money savings on hobbies, electronics, restaurants and clothing;
  • 70% are willing to spend extra money to eat their dinner at hip restaurants;
  • 2 in 3 buy garments for reasons beyond the basic need to wear clothes, e.g. as a status symbol;
  • Most of them spend less on TV devices as online streaming platforms have gained extremely popularity and perfectly match their lifestyle needs.

The purchase power of Millennials

For what concerns data related to the purchasing power of Millennials, according to SmartAsset:

  • They have an average post-taxes annual income of around $ 53,6k;
  • They have an average yearly total spending evaluated around $ 52k;
  • They spend more than half of their income for needs, including at least 20% for housing, 13% for daily food, 18% for transportation and 5% for healthcare;
  • They spend a big part of their income on wants, such as  5% on clothes, 4,5% on entertainment, around 3% on reading and education and more spending concerning, for example, technologies and travel;
  • They have an average yearly saving around only 10% of their income.

These figures are very helpful to understand better how Millennials love to spend their money in addition to some previous considerations that were made, especially for what concerns the fashion industry. Indeed, Millennials represent the most important target for fashion brands and it’s important for these companies to learn how to leverage the preferences of these consumers

Digital shopping is the trademark of Millennials

The most interesting factor to consider is that digital shopping is the true trademark of Millennials, and the reason is clear.

In fact, since Millennials are also digital natives and the ones that first experienced the transition from a completely analogue world to a strongly connected one, means they were also the first to experience and fall in love with the disruptive and successful phenomenon of e-commerce and will surely be the best customers for phygital shopping experiences.

Last but not least, the great interest in new technologies and ways and the will to do things differently than before, Millennials were also the first ones to widely adopt smartphones as main digital devices, especially for activities concerning shopping and payments, thus making mobile first a concrete phenomenon of digital transformation.

Any examples of how smartphones may enhance phygital shopping? The answer is connected products: a simple and effective way to make items smart objects able to create solid, long-lasting and valuable connections between brands and products.

Here are a few figures about the digital shopping habits of Millennials:

  • 91% prefer to shop online;
  • 44% prefer online shopping due to fast shipping and the larger variety of products;
  • 47% shop online from e-commerce at least once a week;
  • 23% would rather purchase a product online before getting it physically at the store;
  • 25% buy even groceries online;
  • 42% complete purchases and transactions directly via smartphone;
  • 40% check online reviews before purchasing products;
  • 67% are worried about the safety of their personal data while shopping online.

How do Millennials interact and connect with brands?

Millennials are usually more aware of key issues like social improvement and sustainability, and consider these as relevant quality factors to evaluate a brand properly besides the products.

Even if it appears that 60% of Millennials prefer to purchase products from generic brands rather than famous ones, different studies claim that 30% of them feel and stay loyal to brands even for decades.

For what concerns the sharing of values, it’s key to observe that Millennials:

  • For 52% prefer to shop products of brands they share values with;
  • For 44% prefer to shop products of brands they share political ideas with;
  • For 19% prefer to check information about the brand’s values before shopping;

Also, digital marketing is interesting to analyse through some figures about Millennials:

18 May 2023

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