Teen Vogue and the International Council of Shopping Centers Unveil Research Identifying How Millennials Are Shopping This Back-to-School Season

Aug 11, 2015, 12:00 ET from Teen Vogue

NEW YORK, Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In order to understand the way influential Millennial and Gen Z consumers shop during the all-important back-to-school season, Teen Vogue and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) partnered to explore and identify how malls, the web, and social media factor into their retail experience, how much they plan to spend, reasons for shopping in-store versus online, and more. 

According to the online survey, which yielded more than 1,000 responses from Teen Vogue's IT GIRL panel*:

Investing in a Fresh Start
Back-to-school is an important time of year for Millennials, with 80% of respondents saying it's a chance for a fresh start, and 70% of them looking forward to trying new trends and styles. And they're choosing to shop—84% of respondents plan to spend the same or more this year on back-to-school purchases.

Trend Report:
Top Three Ways Respondents Spend Their Own Money

  • 83% Fashion
  • 72% Dining out
  • 64% Beauty products

The month of August is crucial for retailers—but so are September and October, with 47% of respondents saying they will start shopping before school starts but continue throughout the fall.

In-Store Still Sells
59% of respondents will primarily shop in-store for their back-to-school purchases, 35% will shop both in-store and online, and just 6% will shop exclusively online.

Malls Matter to Millennials
They look forward to spending time at the mall during the back-to-school season.

Top Three Reasons:

  • 73% They like that so many stores are in one place                                     
  • 44% They love in-store promotions                                                                
  • 33% They can shop with friends                                                                     

Social Media Shoppers
Smartphones are an essential element of back-to-school shopping, with 75% of respondents saying they will seek out inspiration and ideas on social media. On average, respondents dedicate 2.5 hours a day to fashion and style on social media. 

Trend Report:

  • 68% will research deals and promotions while shopping
  • 43% will visit the store or brand's website while shopping

Most Popular Social Media Platforms
Where they will talk about and share images of back-to-school shopping:

  • 78% Instagram   
  • 55% Snapchat    

She's Making Her Back-to-School List
The number one "must-have" item on respondents' back-to-school lists: a great bag, followed by perfect-fitting denim. When asked to rank other important items, respondents listed:

  • #1 Everyday casual clothing
  • #2 Shoes
  • #3 Bags
  • #4 Technology
  • #5 Activewear/Workout

What Retailers Need To Know
Lost loyalty? Advice from the Millennial consumer on ways to win her back:

  • Quality and price should be equal
  • There should be clothing options that fit every girl  
  • The store and shopping environment should be clean and organized
  • Be a good corporate citizen because the consumer is watching

In-Store vs. Online:

Top factors driving respondents to a specific mall, store, or retail location:

  • Instant gratification—they want their purchases right away
  • They think it's fun to go into a store
  • Overall experience (friends, eating, movies, et cetera)

Top factors driving online purchases:

  • Convenience
  • Easy access to a wide selection
  • The opportunity to find better deals

*Teen Vogue IT GIRLS are a self-selecting community of 75,000 United States–based beauty- and fashion-savvy females, ages 13–29, who opt in to participate in Teen Vogue research initiatives, promotions, and events.

About Teen Vogue
Teen Vogue, a Conde Nast brand, is the leading source of fashion and beauty news for style-conscious teens and twentysomethings everywhere. It brings the sophistication and authority of Vogue to a new generation of savvy young women who desire to be on the cutting edge of fashion, beauty, and culture. Teen Vogue, launched in February 2003, publishes 10 issues a year, has a circulation of more than 1 million, and reaches an audience of 12 million more through a combination of teenvogue.com, 14 social media platforms, a robust video channel, and hundreds of retail shopping events annually. Conde Nast is a global media company producing the highest-quality magazines, websites, and digital content. The company's portfolio reaches more than 263 million consumers in 30 markets and includes many of the world's most respected and influential media properties.

About ICSC
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. For more information, visit www.icsc.org or www.thecenterofshopping.com.

To request an interview or for more information, please contact:

Erin Kaplan
Teen Vogue

Jesse Tron
International Council of Shopping Centers

SOURCE Teen Vogue