From apparel giants to technology mainstays, companies across all sectors are increasingly concerned with understanding the ever mercurial Millennial shopper. Grasping the Millennial mindset is critical during the holiday season, when consumer spending booms (projections for the 2015 holiday shopping season alone exceed $630 Billion). Miss the mark on your messaging and you risk missing out on a large chunk of your annual revenue. Millennials’ holiday habits are even more important this year than in the past, now that they are becoming parents and homeowners, setting the stage for deep-seeded household buying behaviors.
65% of Millennials surveyed expect to use social media to help them choose gifts this year.
We dove deeper into Millennial holiday mindsets with Kelton’s annual end-of-year consumer survey. Here are the top 5 trends you need to know about:
1. They love to shop during the holidays.
…or at least, they don’t hate it as much as their parents. Almost 60% of the Millennials we surveyed said they love holiday shopping, and only 8% told us that they hate hitting the mall when the halls are decked.
Just like a child’s belief in Santa Claus, affinity for holiday shopping wanes with age. Boomers are almost 3 times more likely to hate holiday shopping than Millennials. Gen Xers don’t fare much better and are 2 times as likely to hate holiday shopping.
2. They do their research – socially.
65% of Millennials surveyed expect to use social media to help them choose gifts this year. And while only 16% of Millennials plan to purchase a gift straight off of a social media site, they are leaning on social channels more heavily than ever before to read product reviews, find deals, and get inspiration for purchases.
3. They make the best dinner guests.
The Millennial Golden Rule? Don’t show up empty handed. Millennials are significantly more likely than Boomers or Gen Xers to bring a gift for party hosts over the holidays. Considering that Millennials drink more wine than any other generation, and that 25% of our respondents plan to gift vino to hosts, there’s a good chance that Millennials will spark the party this season.
4. They’re [overly?] optimistic.
This stat isn’t surprising but it’s a good reminder: multiple studies confirm that Millennials are less worried about the future than their older counterparts. Our study echoed this confidence about the future. From hunger and homelessness, to terrorism, to economic opportunity, the Millennials we surveyed were less concerned about issues across the board. While some might argue that Millennials’ eternal optimism doesn’t jive with reality, a positive outlook on the future also connects to their larger, more flexible budgets during holiday 2015.
5. They know how to Treat Themselves.
Self-gifting is on the rise across generations, but Millennials take the cake when it comes to indulging in a little material holiday cheer. Millennials are not only more than 40% more likely than Boomers and Gen Xers to buy a gift for themselves while out holiday shopping, they’re also significantly more likely to keep a gift that they intended to give to someone else. This creates a valuable opportunity for brands to appeal to Millennials’ “Treat Yo’ Self” mentality and their impulsive tendency to self-gift.
Holiday 2015 is fast upon us, but these Millennial shopping habits are evergreen. Keep an eye out for the way they impact your holiday sales to see how you can tap into the Millennial mindset in 2016.
Hungry for more holiday shopper insights? Check out Kelton’s interactive infographic.