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Millennials splurge on apparel, love shopping
Jun '16
Courtesy: Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor
Courtesy: Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor
Millennials in the US spend nearly $900 a year on apparel, which is 65 per cent more than the Boomer generation, according to the Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor Survey. And when asked their feelings about clothes shopping, 62 per cent of Millennials say they love/enjoy shopping, compared to 39 per cent of Boomers.

There is simply more discretionary income for the younger set, which, at roughly 75 million people, represents one-third of the total US population, according to the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).

Both male and female Millennials like spending their money on clothes. Among young women, 47 per cent shop for apparel more than twice a month, according to The Boston Group. That compares with 36 per cent of non-Millennials. The a retail consulting firm found the difference even more notable among men, with 38 per cent of Millennials shopping more than twice a month versus 10 per cent of non-Millennials.

Of course, mobile shopping has grown tremendously in just the last few years. In 2013, mobile accounted for 16 per cent of total retail e-commerce sales, according to Statista, but had grown to 32 per cent by this year, and is expected to reach 41 per cent by 2019.

Perhaps not surprisingly, as Millennials are accused of never putting their phones down, the group shops for clothes online 43 per cent more often than Boomers, according to the Monitor data. Nearly 8 out of 10 Millennial consumers browse for apparel online using their smartphone, significantly more than the nearly 3 out 10 Boomers. And 51 per cent of Gen Y shoppers buy apparel on their phones, versus just 13 per cent of the older generation.

While mobile shopping has shown its strength, both generations still prefer the store experience for browsing and buying. Boomers, though, are more likely to browse in-store (61 per cent versus 43 per cent), the Monitor data shows. Meanwhile, Millennials are significantly more likely to browse for apparel on social media sites (9 per cent versus 0.)

Millennials have a very strong social presence. Datamentors reports 79 per cent of the Gen Y audience uses social media like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, “with many spending as much as 2-to-3 hours on these sites per day.” They’re influenced by their friends’ posts when making a buying decision, and they use social to contact and engage with retailers and brands.

When it comes to actual buying, the Monitor finds three-quarters of Boomers prefer shopping in-store, which is significantly more than 67 per cent of Gen Y shoppers.

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