Millennial parents need smartphones for shopping: NRF

04 May '18
4 min read

Millennial parents turn to their smartphones at every point during shopping - 78 per cent use their phones to research products (compared with 58 per cent of other parents), according to a study by National Retail Federation, which provides insight into how these new parents shop, spend and engage with brands differently than parents in other generations.

“The millennial generation has at turns confounded, inspired and challenged researchers and analysts with their spending habits,” NRF director of Retail and Consumer Insights Katherine Cullen said. “As many millennials move into parenthood, we are beginning to see how their expectations and shopping preferences compare with those of previous generations. 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.”

Born between 1981 and 1994, millennials are parents to 50 per cent of today’s children, more than one million millennial women become new mothers each year, and millennials make a significant contribution to the $ one trillion US parents spend annually on raising their children.

Millennial parents differ from other parents both in their lifestyle and shopping choices. According to the report, 40 per cent hold a graduate degree, or more than double the 19 per cent of other parents, and 69 per cent of respondents earn more than the national median income of $59,000 a year, compared with 53 per cent of other parents.

Millennials also hold a positive outlook on their futures: the generation’s consumer confidence has risen by more than 20 percentage points since 2008, and a third feel that their financial situation has improved over the last year. And 80 per cent of millennials with children are in their 30s.

With so much information available on mobile devices, millennial parents turn to their smartphones at every point during shopping. The study found 78 per cent use their phones to research products (compared with 58 per cent of other parents), 75 per cent to check prices or availability (also compared with 58 per cent) and 71 per cent to pay at checkout or place an order (51 per cent). In addition, 71 per cent will leave a review, process a return or chat with customer service after purchasing, compared with 43 per cent of other parents.

Millennial parents are often in a hurry, and 86 per cent have used same-day shipping compared with just 67 per cent of parents from other generations. And they’re willing to pay for convenience – only 53 per cent expect free shipping on small orders under $50 compared with 66 per cent of other parents. Subscription services – which can supply automatic refills and discounted prices on items such as diapers, formula and baby wipes – are used by 40 per cent, compared with 18 per cent of other parents.

“To keep parents of any generation happy, brands and retailers must deliver on both price and quality,” Cullen said. “But millennials are 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 programmes.”

Millennial parents say where they shop matters, with 44 per cent only shopping at brands that reflect their social or political values, a factor cited by only 23 per cent 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. The survey found 49 per cent remain loyal to a brand despite cheaper options, compared with 30 per cent of other parents. And 52 per cent will remain loyal despite more convenient options, compared with 35 per cent of other parents, and 64 per cent will shop at a brand they are loyal to before looking at a competitor, compared with 54 per cent of other parents.

This nationally representative survey targeted 3,002 US adult consumers 18 or older between January 30 and February 18. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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