The factors driving purchases made by Gen Y parents are…
Deena M. Amato-McCoy
Technology and convenience are influencing Millennials’ shopping habits — especially as they move into parenthood.
With so much information available on mobile devices for example, Millennial parents use their smartphones at every point during their shopping journey— more than parents among any other generation, according to the National Retail Federation’s quarterly “Consumer View” report.
According to data, 78% use their phones to research products (compared with 58% of other parents), 75% to check prices or availability (again, compared with 58%) and 71% use it to pay at checkout or place an order (51%). In addition, 71% will leave a review, process a return or chat with customer service after purchasing, compared with 43% of other parents.
Since Millennial parents are often in a hurry, they want convenient shopping options. Thus, 86% use same-day shipping. This is compared with just 67% of parents from other generations.
Gen Y is also willing to pay for convenience – only 53% expect free shipping on small orders under $50 compared with 66% of other parents. This also makes subscription services – which can supply automatic refills and discounted prices on items such as diapers, formula and baby wipes – attractive to Millennials. As a result, subscription services are used by 40% of Gen Y parents, compared with 18% of other parents, according to the study.
Millennial parents say it matters where they shop, so 44% only shop at brands that reflect their social or political values. This factor only influenced 23% of parents from other generations.
Once a brand gains the loyalty of millennial parents, they are much more likely to stick with it than other parents. For example, 49% remain loyal to a brand despite cheaper options, compared with 30% of other parents. Meanwhile, 52% will remain loyal despite having more convenient options, compared with 35% of other parents. And 64% will shop at a brand they are loyal to before looking at a competitor, compared with 54% of other parents.
“As many Millennials move into parenthood, we are beginning to see how their expectations and shopping preferences compare with those of previous generations,” said NRF director of retail and consumer insights Katherine Cullen.
“Whether it’s using a subscription service to make sure diapers don’t run out or going online to research the best crib or car seat, millennials shop differently than other parents,” she added. “Millennials are also very concerned about good customer services, and are twice as likely to back out of a purchase for lack of it. For Millennials, service ranks ahead of convenience, selection and loyalty programs.”