To crack the Millennial code, NPD Group Inc. is turning to the humble receipt.

According to Andy Mantis, executive vice president of checkout services at The NPD Group, “a receipt is a treasure trove of data,” providing marketers with crucial information such as a store’s name and address, date and time of purchase and details ranging from stockkeeping unit numbers to discounts. Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD implemented checkout tracking last year to harvest the information listed on paper and electronic receipts to understand consumer spending, especially with the coveted but unpredictable demographic known as Millennials. Thus far, more than 65,000 participants use NPD’s phone app and the service scanned more than 2.5 million inboxes for e-receipts. It tracks in excess of 30 million items each month from people willing to share their private information.

With one particular 24-year-old woman, NPD learned that she visited 127 retailers and spent 17 percent of her spending money online. A typical day started with a coffee purchase at Starbucks at 7:35 in the morning, moved to a 12:15 lunch at Chipotle and a 5:30 grocery trip to Wegman’s, and ended with a visit to at 9:10 at night to buy clothing on sale. “There is a lot of power in the data,” Mantis said.

The interesting factoid about Millennials is that they spend money both on the Web and in specialty stores. Mantis described them as health-conscious shoppers who seek quality, look at bargain prices and accumulate physical and digital goods. “Nordstrom is absolutely resonating with Millennials shopping both channels” online and in stores, he said.

Other brands that surfaced in Millennials’ online visits were,, and They also are fans of the new economy, using Web-based services such as Airbnb, Uber and Grubhub.

Keys to keeping a Millennial customer is to focus on consumer demographics, target behavioral segments and know the customer. “Maybe offer an Uber gift card,” Mantis suggested.

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