Millennials Disrupt Traditional Shopping: How Retailers Can Appeal to the Coveted Demographic this Season and Plan for the New Future of Shopping

Blackhawk Engagement Solutions research finds millennials shop mobile and social first, find gift cards safest for online transactions, and seek out values, including rebates

Dec 01, 2015, 08:25 ET from Blackhawk Engagement Solutions

LEWISVILLE, Texas, Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As retail marketers strive to lure the coveted millennial shoppers this holiday season, Blackhawk Engagement Solutions today announced new shopper data examining millennials' path-to-purchase habits. Not surprisingly, millennial shoppers are plugged in to mobile and social shopping and do not observe historically traditional shopping patterns.

Experience the interactive Multimedia News Release here:

"Millennials are leading a change in purchase trends. As such, it's incredibly important for retail marketers to understand how to appeal to this demographic," said Rodney Mason, GVP of Marketing at Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, an international incentives and engagement company. "Millennials are savvy shoppers and many have come of age in a post-recession era; our research shows that this group routinely comparison shops on mobile to get the best value and shopping experience, but the market has not yet capitalized on those habits."

Blackhawk Engagement Solutions' "Millennials Disrupt Shopping" report summarizes the findings from two distinct studies:  the first was a US study conducted in April 2015 that surveyed more than 500 millennials and focused on shopping behaviors; the second was a US study conducted in October 2015 that surveyed an additional 500 millennials and focused on app and gift card preferences. Together, these surveys identified the ways millennials research purchases, the devices they use, and the influences along their paths to purchase. Key findings include:

  • Smartphones are a primary means to connect to the Internet: Smartphones are a dominant method of connection to the web for millennials, with 89 percent using them to connect to the Internet, versus 75 percent using laptops, 45 percent using tablets and 37 percent using desktop computers.
  • Social media is #1 for shopping info: Social media is millennials' primary source for shopping news and discovering new products; TV is #6.
  • Millennials are sensitive to price: Ninety-five percent have more or the same sensitivity to price as last year. Additionally, price has the greatest influence on millennials' purchase decisions above all other factors, including product quality, brand, store and availability. 
  • Google and Amazon are favorites for comparing prices on smartphones: Amazon (46 percent) and Google (43 percent) dominate millennials' preference for price comparison activities on their smartphones.
  • Retail apps are sort of where it's at:  For value, savings and rewards, millennials moderately use the apps of the retailers they shop frequently.   
  • Millennials choose higher-value rebates over instant discounts across shopping categories: For categories including electronics, entertainment, sporting goods, clothing, wireless plans and even groceries, the majority of millennials would choose a higher-value rebate offer over an instant discount.
  • Millennials will consider Buy Online, Pickup In Store (BOPIS) for an incentive: BOPIS could offer an opportunity for retailers to get millennials in store and save on shipping costs: 88 percent of millennials say they would consider buying online and picking up in store to save $10 on a $50 item. 
  • Gift cards believed to be safest for online shopping: 64 percent of millennials believe that gift cards are safer to use online than any other digital payment method.  Sixty-six percent believe gift cards limit identity fraud.
  • Millennials embrace loyalty programs: 69 percent belong to a retail loyalty program and 70 percent of those are happy with the program.

An infographic exploring the findings of Blackhawk Engagement Solutions' "Millennials Disrupt Shopping" research can be downloaded here.

About the Millennials Disrupt Shopping Report
The Millennials Disrupt Shopping Report is comprised from the findings of two Internet-based surveys conducted by Blackhawk Engagement Solutions:

Where It's At, A Connected Shopper Study: Millennials, was conducted from April 1, 2015 to April 17, 2015. The sample size included 546 American respondents ages 18 to 29.

Gift Card and Shopping App Study was conducted from October 23, 2015 to October 30, 2015. The sample size included 500 American respondents ages 18 to 29.

About Blackhawk Engagement Solutions
Blackhawk Engagement Solutions is a leading global provider of customized incentive and engagement solutions for consumer promotions, employee rewards and recognition, and indirect sales channels. We are a strategic partner with many of the world's leading brands and a thought leader that provides game-changing engagement solutions. Through our products, services and innovative technology, we inspire actions that impact results. For more information, please visit:

Ashley Jackson





SOURCE Blackhawk Engagement Solutions