The Five Millennial Shoppers Retailers Should Get to Know

Consumers have all the feels when it comes to shopping. They take it seriously, feel it emotionally and display an insatiable need and immediacy for more and better. Like any relationship, retailers want the super-human ability to get inside their consumer’s heads and see what they’re really thinking. Knowing this, we recently conducted a study with over 1,000 U.S. millennial shoppers to do just that -#yourewelcome.

With over 80 million millennials in the U.S., Gen Y represents a significant buying group that retailers should pay close attention to. Each year, millennials shell out approximately $600 billion and, by 2020, they’re projected to spend $1.4 trillion annually, representing 30 percent of total retail sales in the U.S. according to Accenture. The results of this research uncovered five chief millennial shoppers personas and associated point of purchase motivators to help retailers, like yourself, take advantage of the massive spending power this group represents — again, #yourewelcome.

As a retailer, you’ll have the ability to take these insights and apply them to your everyday engagement strategies to ensure that you’re putting your customer’s feelings first and reaching them in each of their moments of shopping truth.

Enter the minds of the top five millennial shoppers in the U.S. today:

The Social Shopper: Would Jump off the Bridge If Their Friends Did

The Social Shopper is easy to spot: they’re usually in large groups and their mobile notification alerts can be heard from miles away. Historically, they could be found with friends or family at department stores to ensure they have the approval of their network before making any purchase, but now they live almost entirely online. Through multiple devices and via all the social channels, the Social Shopper is always sharing potential purchases with their network and is largely influenced by the opinion of others.

Key Retailer Takeaway: Given that nearly 50 percent of consumers are either somewhat or very much influenced by friends and family when making a purchasing decision, retailers need to have tools in place that track social interactions in order to make more informed marketing decisions.

The Bargain Hunter: The Krazy Coupon Lady of eCommerce

The Bargain Hunter of yesterday ferociously clipped coupons the second they were mailed to their house. Today’s Bargain Hunter, however, has a whole new way of shopping — one with less scissors and more time for HGTV. They expect retailers to let them know when an item on their Wishlist went on sale, on their preferred shopping device (ex. mobile phone), as soon as it happens while they make time for DIY projects and kid’s sports games.

Key Retailer Takeaway: With 57.4 percent of survey respondents claiming that they’re more likely to buy a product from a retailer’s site when the retailer emails them a discount code, retailers should implement a tool that allows them to automate codes for specific items and email consumers directly #surpriseanddelight.

The Elite Shopper: Prefers Things Handed to them on a Silver Spoon

The Elite Shopper is easy to spot: their outfits are always flawless, their hair is on point and they personify trends, or are often described as “chic.” These shoppers live for exclusive offerings, invite-only flash sales and champagne upon arrival at their favorite stores. They also expect the same service online through personalized experiences and offerings based on past purchases. Unfortunately for the Elite Shopper, most luxury retailers fail at delivering this experience online.
 Key Retailer Takeaway: 47.6 percent of respondents claimed that they feel most valued by retailers who reward them with loyalty points. Given this, retailers need to customize their loyalty strategy to tailor-fit the aspirations of their customer.

The Impulse Buyer: Has a Hard Time Resisting Shiny Objects

The Impulse Buyer goes to the retailer’s site for one item and checks out with 20 they might not need, but couldn’t pass up. These shoppers love to shop ‘till they drop and, while they might never have a gala to wear the sequin ball gown they purchased on sale to when perusing their favorite retailer’s online site, passing up a good deal is against their religion.

Key Retailer Takeaway: Almost 50 percent of respondents have made a purchase based on the “suggested items” option on a retailer’s site. Retailers should take advantage of this opportunity and leverage a solution that automates custom suggestions that converts to a sale.

The Frugal Fannie: Would Rather Break an Arm than Shop

The Frugal Fannie is someone who only shops when they’ve run out of something or absolutely needs an item. While they share some traits of the Bargain Hunter, they aren’t as motivated to make purchases based on sales. Today’s savvy retailer will connect with the Frugal Fannie by consistently offering the best deal on products that consumers can’t live without — and offering great customer service or price comparison tools would be an added bonus.

Key Retailer Takeaway: With 37.2 percent of respondents claiming that they’re only motivated to shop when they absolutely need something, retailers need to build loyalty with these shoppers to ensure they continue to buy products from them, as opposed to another retailer, using tools that provide improved, personalized touch points.

Putting it All Together

While each shopper persona is different, there are tools available that help support retailers in catering to any and all of these buyer persona’s requests. A Wishlist, for example, lets shoppers easily save and organize their favorite items which, in turn, allows retailers to collect that data and interact with shoppers on a much more personalized level. Additionally, sharing tools empower customers to converse with their friends and family in real-time through multiple networks without ever leaving the retailer’s site.

Having these solutions in place will allow retailers to exceed these diverse shopper demands while also providing them with the opportunity to be empathetic to their customer’s wants and needs. Whether it’s the Social Shopper, the Bargain Hunter, the Impulse Buyer, the Elite Shopper or the Frugal Fannie, people respond to people. Retailers can create meaningful relationships with consumers by pulling insights from the tools and solutions in place to understand their habits and preferences, while also adding a layer of humanity to each personalized touchpoint.

Originally published at on February 28, 2017.