When it comes to shopping, Millennials are more prone to buying apparel at specialty stores than the older Generation X. Not only that, but they dole out more money than Gen Xers on baby products and video games, and overall, tend to spend more money online than any other generation.
That’s according to the latest data compiled by the NPD Group. WWD spoke with Andy Mantis, executive vice president of the company’s Checkout Tracking division, about the findings and other insights into the shopping behavior of Millennials.
WWD: Can you shed some light on the comparative shopping habit differences — say, spending on specific product categories — of Millennials to other generations?
Andy Mantis: While comparing categories yields interesting results, what’s more interesting is that Millennials are embracing digital as a buying channel for both physical and digital goods. The combination of industries, brands versus value, and channel/buying preferences are what truly sets this generation apart.
When it comes to shopping, Millennials spend more on baby products, video games, accessories and beauty products compared to Boomers and Generation X.
WWD: Regarding retail brands, what are some of Millennials’ favored places to shop?
A.M.: Based on the data gathered from receipts, Millennials prefer to shop at high-quality specialty stores like Nordstrom Rack and Whole Foods.
WWD: What trends are you seeing in Millennials’ shopping behavior in regard to online apparel?
A.M.: Compared to both Baby Boomers and Generation X, Millennials over-index at specialty apparel and accessories stores on sites like Modcloth.com, h&m.com and Asos.com.
WWD: Are there any insights you can share in regard to dining and eating out or in?
A.M.: While Millennials spend a similar share of their dollars at restaurants, this group is more likely to dine at fast-casual restaurants such as Chipotle. With online delivery services on the rise, it’s not surprising to find out they use online food ordering sites like Seamless and GrubHub more than both Generation X and Boomers.
WWD: Are Millennials also spending more on “experiences” rather than “things”?
A.M.: Millennials do tend to over-index in experiential categories, purchasing more tickets to concerts and shows, and traveling more than other generations.
WWD: What does all of this mean for marketers and advertisers?
A.M.: Retailers have always known when and what their customers purchase, but all of this data gives them more insight into where their customers are going outside of their store. This gives brands and retailers a chance to revise their plan to cater to or attract more Millennials.
For example, because Millennials are already attracted to specialty apparel stores, brands like Bonobos or Nordstrom Rack can tweak their strategies to maximize spend and loyalty from existing customers.
But Millennials cover a broad range of age (18 to 34 years old), income and ethnicity. It’s important for brands to filter this segment further in order to connect with this diverse group. This data would help marketers discover new opportunities and convert untapped audiences.