Millennials: The Smartest Shoppers?

Posted Wednesday October 30, 2013 3:26 PM GMT

We always knew it, but we didn’t always have the numbers to back us up. According to new research, Millennials are the smartest shoppers around.

That’s right — men and women aged 13 to 33 are changing the retail landscape and dictating how fashion is being bought and sold — and it’s different than ever before. The generation represents over $200 billion in sales, which makes this pretty hefty research. How they’re doing it though, is quite complicated.

Not surprisingly, the Internet plays a major factor. According to WWD, they have a habit of hitting social media outlets, e-commerce options, and fashion sites like ours to discover what they want. They also walk into specialty stores to assist that research. But instead of buying by foot, they head back to their computers to find what they want at the lowest price possible.

“Because shopping online is so organized, it’s relatively neat and tidy. They feel they can organize what they want really quickly, by size, brand and style,” said Wendy Liebmann, chief executive officer of WSL Strategic Retail. “But when they go into a physical store, it’s so chaotic to them. It’s hard to find their size, and the comparisons are totally different. They [younger Millennials] become fed up with the store, and it pushes them back online.”

Yet, she duly noted that this is no call for stores to close shop. “The big message here is that it’s not about Millennials buying online versus in the store; it’s about the fact that they buy online differently (i.e., on their phones) and expect to buy both in-store and online. Which means they also expect a seamless, frictionless experience, not either/or.”

They also prefer stores that cater to their specific wants and needs. A study by Teen Vogue and Goldman Sachs found that the top overall brand favored by young women is Forever 21, followed by Victoria’s Secret, Victoria’s Secret Pink, Sephora, H&M, Converse, Target, Urban Outfitters, MAC and Bath & Body Works. Noted outlets missing from this list include every major department store, which attract an older, broader customer base.

What are they telling us? That our shopping habits are informed, frugal and pretty complicated? Sounds about right to us!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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