More confirmation Millennials are killing traditional retail

Millennials have made the switch to preferring online shopping over in-store, with mobile shopping increasing over the same time period.

How are Millennials shopping today? In short: not in physical stores, and less and less online. But definitely from their phones, and totally on Amazon. These were some of the findings from the 2019 Millennial Shopping Report, for which coupon platform CouponFollow polled 1,002 people aged 22-37 from across the United States.

In the last 18 months, Millennials have made the switch to preferring online shopping over in-store, with mobile shopping increasing over the same time period.


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“In our previous [2017] report, Millennials were still clinging to brick and mortar as their most utilized way of shopping,” said Marc Mezzacca, CEO of CouponFollow, in a press release. “In just 18 months, digital shopping has surpassed in-store, led by a rapid increase in mobile shopping preference.”

Other findings

  • Mobile-based shopping increased from 16% to 36%
  • Computer-based shopping decreased from 31% to 24%
  • Brick and mortar shopping decreased from 53% to 40%

Amazon is king

The generation makes a huge number of purchases on Amazon (which has a handy and convenient mobile app):

  • 97% of Millennials shop on Amazon in some way
  • Two-thirds of Millennials make half or more of their purchases on Amazon.
  • One-third of Millennials make at least 4 out of 5 of their purchases on Amazon.

Shop n’ save

Stores, show us your codes. 65% of Millennials search for coupons online before making a purchase via a computer; a similar percentage does so when shopping by mobile. More than half (55%) say they spend about three minutes looking for discounts.

Millennials are experimental shoppers if they can get a bargain: 74% would try a product from a competitor of their favorite brand if they could get a discount of 25-40% off.

Of the 70% of Millennials who do follow brands on social media, half are doing so to get the discounts that are sometimes doled out.

The discovery process

Nearly every Millennial now does research of new products online before making a purchase – well, 79% of them do.  But only 35% of Millennials would actually make an in-store purchase of that new product, compared to 49% in 2017.

And more Millennials are streamlining to make the shopping process entirely digital – both discovering and purchasing items online. That number is up to 39%, up from 30% in 2017.

So of all the industries Millennials have been accused of killing – well, it looks like retail can be moved to the top of the list.


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.