Study: Young Consumers’ Shopping Preferences

The survey, conducted by the college's NRF Student Association last fall, found that 18-25 year-olds prefer in-store shopping to online.

LIM College students surveyed their peers and found their own data points indicated a preference for shopping in stores instead of online.

The results of the survey, “Shopping Trends Among 18-25 Year-Olds,” showed that 68 percent would rather shop in stores than online for apparel and footwear, although 66 percent do prefer to use the Web to get information and compare prices.

According to the survey, only 23 percent shop from a tablet or smart phone, and 56 percent pay for their purchases via debit cards versus cash or credit cards. Most don’t know what a flash sale site is since only 20 percent say they shop from a Rue La La or a Gilt Groupe.

Social media plays a role in that the consumer in the 18-to-25 age group will “like” a brand, but more than 88 percent choose not to shop through Facebook or Twitter, the survey said.

LIM’s NRF Student Association elected to do their own survey when results regarding use of technology for those ages 18 to 25 didn’t match the students’ own shopping habits.

Nicole Flasch-Mihalko, a member of the LIM College NRFSA team, said, “And sure enough, retail observers have been significantly overestimating our use of online and digital technology for shopping. We like shopping in stores and are not as engaged in shopping on the Internet as many have touted.”

NRFSA was formed in 2011, with LIM the first to register their student members. The NRFSA team at LIM conducted an online survey of 310 consumers between ages 18 and 25, primarily female, last fall.