Last Thursday, Amazon not only sounded its dominance — having created 150 thousand new American jobs between 2011 and 2016 — but also trumpeted its bullishness – expecting to create 100 thousand more in the next 18 months (BusinessWire, Jan 12, 2017.) Meanwhile The Limited – the shopping mall staple across America – set into motion shuttering all 250 of its retail stores nationwide (Fortune, Jan 9, 2017.)
Even with innovations like the facial expression-tracking AI-enabled smart retail shelves (Ad Age, January 2017) and the checkout-less Amazon Go stores, Retailers and e-Tailers race to keep up with fast-changing consumer shopping behavior.
December is the largest shopping season of the year. But is it the proverbial ONLY month that truly makes or breaks the year for Retailers/e-tailers? Are consumers truly deserting brick-and-mortar (B&M) retail stores in droves? Or does B&M yet have a place in American mind, lore and consumption – during the Holidays and beyond?
To answer these questions, we surveyed over 1200 middle-class and high-income Gen-X and Millennials in November 2016, leading up to the Holiday shopping season. To comprehend the relative significance of the Holiday shopping season, we also conducted a micro-survey in January to understand consumers’ shopping intent around the upcoming Valentine’s Day.
The findings were both confirming in ways, and surprising in others.
What Confirmed Our Beliefs:
- Flat Spend Year/Year: Gen-X and Millennials planned to spend the same amount of money holiday shopping in 2016 as they did in 2015.
- Online Advertising & Word of Mouth Beat Offline Advertising: When communicating promotions, both Online Advertising and word-of-mouth beat out TV, Radio & Print.
- A Balance of Tides: Most Gen-X and Millennials intended to split their holiday and Valentine’s Day shopping across B&M and digital and online.
- Holiday Shopping Dominates but Wallets Open Year-around: Gen-X and Millennials spent ~4 times more on Holiday shopping than for Valentine’s Day in 2016.
What Enlightened & Surprised Us:
- Even the Affluent Are Value-Driven: The rise in Black Friday & Cyber Monday was driven – in large part – by greater intent by high-income Millennials.
- Digital Divide between Gen-X and Millennials: For online shopping, digital-native Millennials have a greater intent to use Mobile Apps exclusively than Gen-X’ers.
- Familiarity & Brand Loyalty Are Critical but Only to a Degree: While 3 out of 4 Americans intended to shop at Retail/e-Tail stores where they’ve shopped in the past, “Value” and “Exclusive Products” can sway their loyalty.
Click here to download the report. Whether you are a brick-and-mortar retailer or a digital-only e-tailer, take the time to understand these subtle and not-so-subtle similarities and differences between Gen-Xers and Millennials, so you may best capture their hearts, minds and spending in 2017 and beyond.
“Loyalty” — with an Eye on Value.