NCR Counterpoint Blog

How Millennials Plan To Shop This Holiday Season

Posted by Courtney Foster on Dec 3, 2015 4:11:39 PM

Are you prepared for what’s to come this holiday shopping season? Do you know what shoppers (specifically the millennials) are planning to buy? This holiday, millennials are captivating the retail industry; representing 75 million consumers, so it is vital to stay ahead of the market and meet the ever-changing demands of these specific consumers.

Millennials will prefer mobility

Today, mobile commerce is a mandatory element of providing a seamless shopping experience for customers; especially during the holiday season. Over half of millennials utilize their mobile devices to search for services and products, track shipments and receive coupons. Additionally, this Gen-Y market often prefer to make transactions by phone and pay while they are in the aisle to avoid having to wait in line at the cash register.

They will spend more this holiday season than they did last year

According to PwC, 47% of millennials will spend more this holiday season than they did in 2014, compared to 25% of older shoppers even though their overall budgets will be 24% less than that of older shoppers. PwC’s research also states that millennials will plan to spend a majority of their total holiday spending on entertainment and travel than shoppers who age 35 and over. This season, experiential gifts will account for 12%.

Interactions will trump transactions

While this 18 to 34 age group continues to utilize their mobile phones to make a lot of their holiday purchases, they are however interested in having an interactive, personalized in-store shopping journey. These specific customers expect a lot from their relationships with retailers and brands. Retailers with physical stores offer consumers this type of experience they are craving that no online store can. However, it is very important to establish a strategy that integrates both physical and digital preferences.

Free shipping and free returns will be a must-have for millennials

This year, standard free shipping will have a large impact on millennials’ holiday purchases as 83% of these consumers say that they are more likely to make a purchase from retailers that offer this option. In conjunction with free shipping, retailers that also offer free returns, both online and in-store will provide a truly seamless shopping experience for consumers this season.


As millennials continue to influence retail trends, it is important to implement shopping incentives that will appeal to this specific demographic and that will help you gain a competitive advantage in this market all year long. 

retail holiday shopping



Topics: holiday shopping, mobile commerce, millennials