• Lower Prices Motivate the Digital Generation

    They are the first generation to mature having spent all or most of their lives with access to computers, high speed internet connections and online shopping.

    And they shop differently online than older generations. With purchasing power of $170 billion, ecommerce retailers should pay attention to how “Millennials” (Wikipedia defines the generation as those born between the late 1970’s/early 1980’s and the early 2000’s), spend all that cash.

    A new report from eMarketer, “Millennials in the Marketplace: A Generation Moving on its Own Unpredictable Path” outlines surprising online shopping behaviours from those who came of age during the Great Recession.

    Primarily, they are not free spenders. They are more inclined than older generations to shop on price than be brand loyal and they access more digital coupons from a broad range of sources.

    • 45% of millennials agreed that they “buy brands on sale vs. preferred brands”; versus 27% of baby boomers
    • 55% download coupons from coupon sites, versus 38% of 35-54 year olds
    • 53% download coupons from retailer sites, versus 40% of 35-54 year olds
    • 53% download coupons from manufacturer sites, versus 42% of 35-54 year olds

    While being more sensitive to price may not fit their stereotype, millennials affinity with all things digital, including social media and gaming, fits the mould.

    • 42% research products online, versus 31% of 35-54 year olds
    • 40% use social media to get coupons, versus 22% 0f 35-54 year olds
    • 38% visit deal sites like Groupon, versus 27% of 35-54 year olds
    • 25% look for email and text updates from retailers/manufacturers, versus 18% of 35-54 year olds
    • 23% use blogs for product research, versus 11% of 35-54 year olds
    • 22% use social media for product research, versus 12% of 35-54 year olds

    And millennials are quite aware of the power their digital savvy gives them. In an Edelman Berland poll, at 40%, the most popular answer given when asked how they wanted to be entertained by brands was: “allow me to influence your product (co-creation”).

    But the predictability of the stereotype may stop there. Counter to the popularly held notion that online advertising, including banner ads, under-performs more traditional advertising, millennials are far more likely to consume promoted messages with, 30% of them clicking on ads in search engines, versus 18% of 35+ year olds.

    3M Results

    Harris Interactive/The Search Agency

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2 thoughts on “Lower Prices Motivate the Digital Generation”

  1. Christopher says:

    This is very interesting, and it actually makes perfect sense. More of our habits and long-term behavior patterns are developed in the phase of our lives when we’re most impressionable…from 10-20 years of age or so. Today, this happens to be the age range of the demographic being born while the world was transitioning from the industrial age to the information age…or in other words, when the internet first began reshaping the world as we knew it. This suggests that this segment of the population will continue with those same spending habits for some time to come. Very useful stuff to know when developing a long term sales and branding strategy. Good article Stephen.

  2. cbenson – Many thanks for your comment and good words. You make an excellent point. Even if the economy does a sudden about-face and we enjoy unprecedented prosperity, millennials will not soon lose the buying habits they developed as they matured during the “Great Recession”.

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