Ahead of the launch of our eagerly anticipated Retail 2020 report, we share some thoughts on the shopper of tomorrow – millennials.

We can’t consider the future of retail without a look at the shopper of tomorrow. Roughly 14 to 35 year olds and representing almost a quarter of the UK population, if millennials aren’t your core audience today, they soon will be.

Similarly by 2020, millennials are predicted to not only comprise roughly one-third of Americans but also make up 30% of retail sales. It is estimated that by 2025 they will constitute as much as 75% of the workforce.

Data from The White House suggests:

  • They are most ethnically diverse generation
  • Millennial women have more equality in the workplace than previous generations
  • They tend to get married later than previous generations
  • They are less likely to be homeowners than young adults in previous generations

To understand, engage and meet their expectation we must understand them, which means understanding their values.

Evidence shows millennials value community, family, and creativity in their work, and they are not just virtually connected via social networks; they value the role that they play in their communities.

Internet generation

Millennials are the inbetweeners of the retail fraternity – old enough to have spent years shopping in-store yet young enough to be digitally savvy. And crucially they are the first generation to have only lived in the age of the Internet.

This accounts for their Jekyll & Hyde purchasing strategy – around half spend at least an hour a day browsing retail websites, but they are more likely to spend in bricks and mortar stores.

Millennials tend to be as loyal to brands as their former generations, but as most 26 year olds will have only ever lived in a low-growth economy, they love bargains and seek value. Research by YPulse evidenced that this generation both want to be courted by offers and will respond to them.

Ethics are king

Corporate ethics are more important to millennials than previous generations. Retailers and brands that are ecologically aware and score high on social responsibility are favoured and will appeal to this audience.

Deloitte’s annual Millennial survey reported that millennials overwhelmingly (75%) believe businesses are focused on their own agenda rather than helping to improve society.

To stay engaged retailers and brands must focus on their broader purpose, their people and contribution to society as much as their products and profits or they are in danger of being left behind.

Retail 2020

Our Retail 2020 report launches in December, delving deeper than a blog to examine the challenges facing retailers, brands and marketers. It depicts the most pertinent trends that will shape tomorrow’s shopping experience, so you can quickly and easily grasp what’s hot, what to look out for and what to avoid, if you’re to attract, delight and ignite future shoppers to act. Register to receive your free copy.