For the First Time, Millennials Now Shopping Mostly Online: Survey

For the First Time, Millennials Now Shopping Mostly Online: Survey

Amazon dominates, with two-thirds doing most of their cyber-purchases there
Millennials shopping online

If you’re wondering why so many brick-and-mortar stores are closing—and why Amazon keeps growing and growing—you may want to look toward millennials.

A new survey by online coupon tracker CouponFollow found that as of this year, most millennials now do the majority of their shopping online, a turn from the previous survey in 2017.

Among the millennial generation—defined by CouponFollow as those born between 1982 and 1996—a full 60% of those questioned in the 2019 survey reported making most of their purchases on the internet, up from 47% in 2017.

Amazon was far and away the biggest winner in the millennial shopping sweepstakes. Approximately 97% of millennials do some of their online shopping at Amazon, and an overwhelming two-thirds said they make at least half of their internet purchases there. In fact, 4% said they did all their online shopping through Amazon’s site.

That doesn’t mean that offline shopping is dead, however—a sizeable 40% of millennial respondents said they shop mostly at brick-and-mortar stores.

But unfortunately for those offline retailers, the trend line suggests that the shift to internet commerce is growing, as younger millennials were less likely to shop mostly at physical stores (39% for those aged 22-26), compared to older millennials (43% for those aged 32-37).

Millennials are also embracing mobile devices as their preferred gateway to online shopping, though the results varied by gender. Millennial women were 10% more likely to make purchases using mobile devices, while millennial men were 14% more likely to use a computer.

Here’s a breakdown of other ways millennials are using the internet for their shopping experience:

  • Of those who shop on Amazon, 43% said they make purchasing decisions based on customer reviews, while 41% said they decide by comparing prices.
  • Millennials are beginning to play with the idea of using voice assistants to help them shop, as 45% have used such platforms as Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa to help them find reviews and other product information.
  • Millennials are also using the internet to find coupons. Approximately 65% search online for coupons when shopping with a computer, while 62% search online for coupons on mobile.
  • Approximately 70% of millennials follow brands on social media. Of those who do, 54% say they get information on deals and discounts this way.

A major takeaway from the survey results is that many millennials seem to be leveraging online product reviews, price comparison sites and digital coupons to get the most out of their internet shopping dollar.

If you too favor etail over traditional retail, look into ways to save and tools to make smarter purchases. As millennials are proving, internet shopping can provide more than just convenience.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.