Millennials have been blamed for the death of many things. Among them are department stores, wedding dresses, high heels and even Harley-Davidson.
But Millennial shoppers in both the U.S. and U.K. are actually spending more money — both in store and online — than any other generation. They’re just investing in different things. Like subscription services and brand logos.
That’s according to “The State of Consumer Spending: Millennials Flexing Their Retail Market Influence in U.S. and U.K.,” a new study by First Insight, a data-driven merchandising platform for retailers and brands. The company recently expanded with offices in London and India.
“Millennials continue to be the dominant force in retail both in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, as their shopping habits can be a deciding factor in what makes or breaks the success and longevity of retail models,” Greg Petro, chief executive officer of First Insight, said in a statement. “Retailers must be able to connect with this generation through the right shopping experiences and unique products if they want to capture the attention of this important generation of shoppers.”
The survey looked at about 1,000 shoppers in the U.S and 565 shoppers in the U.K. earlier this year and found that nearly two-thirds of Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 2000, usually spend more than $50 per shopping trip. That’s more than Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers.
Millennials are also more likely to make impulse purchases and use subscription services. Both are fitting for a busy generation on a mission not to own too much. Subscription services, much like rental services, let consumers try before they buy.
From apparel and accessories to beauty products, subscription services offer up small doses of products at regular intervals. Shoppers don’t have to leave home and they can send back products they don’t want. Oftentimes the company will even pay the return postage fees.
That could be why Millennials in the U.S. and U.K. like them. Currently, 31 percent of U.S. Millennials and 32 percent of U.K. Millennials are signed up for subscription services. That’s more than any other generation.
Interestingly, however, those across the pond are less likely to keep using them. Thirty-eight percent of current Millennial subscription users in the U.S. said they intend to continue their current subscription services in the next six months, compared with just 18 percent of Millennial users in the U.K.
Either way, both British and American Millennials can agree logos are on trend.
Perhaps partially thanks to social media and the age of Instagram, the report found that Millennials are more likely than any other generation to “flex,” or wear certain logos to show a personal association with the brand. Displaying logos also suggests wealth and status. Just think of hard-to-find Supreme products.
And while flaunting luxury labels was once a thing, sports and activewear brands are now most popular in the U.S. and U.K. Twenty-six percent of U.S.-based Millennial shoppers and 27 percent in the U.K. reported flexing sports brands, compared with just 19 percent and 22 percent, in the U.S. and U.K. respectively, rocking luxury logos.
“Where Millennials shop, how they shop and when they wear the brands they love are in close alignment with how they define themselves,” Petro said.