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More Millennials Search In-Store For Deals Than Baby Boomers

Millennials vs. Boomers deals habits infographic

Seventy-one percent of Millennials are visiting multiple stores to find the best deals, compared to 57 percent of Baby Boomers, according to the second in a series of reports by First Insight, a technology company focused on product investment and pricing decisions. While Millennials are still going online to search for deals (82 percent), the study points to shifting shopping behavior within both generational groups, as more Baby Boomers (65 percent) are searching online than in-store for the best price.

The First Insight survey queried 750 participants in the U.S. on their shopping habits, purchase behavior, discount expectations and influences driving purchase decisions. According to the results, the Northeast region of the U.S. is seeing the greatest behavioral shift between Baby Boomers and Millennials when it comes to where they look for deals. Additionally, higher income respondents overall are searching online over in-store, particularly among Baby Boomers.

“The retail industry has been operating on the outdated assumption that Boomers are shopping for deals primarily in-store and Millennials are searching for deals mostly online,” said Greg Petro, CEO and founder of First Insight. “The behavior between these generations is evolving, and to benefit, retailers must recalibrate their approach to marketing, inventory and pricing to attract deal-seekers who may have been overlooked based on outdated perceptions.”

Highlights of the study include:

  • The Northeast is seeing the greatest generational shifts in discount shopping behavior: In the Northeast, 25 percent more Millennials are visiting multiple stores to find deals (73 percent) than Baby Boomers (48 percent), who prefer going online to look for deals. Eleven percent more Baby Boomers responded they search online more (59 percent).
  • West Coast Millennials are searching for deals online and in-store almost equally: In the West, Millennial respondents are almost as inclined to look in-store for deals as they are to look online (72 percent versus 76 percent). Baby Boomers also are showing a migration to online in this region, with 66 percent of those surveyed searching online, versus only 59 percent in-store.
  • The Midwest is showing the strongest shift in Boomers searching for deals online: In the Midwest, the migration of Baby Boomers searching for deals online is the most pronounced, with 14 percent more Baby Boomers looking online for deals over in-store (68 percent versus 54 percent). While a comparatively low 66 percent of Millennials are visiting multiple stores when compared to other regions, the percentage is still 12 percent higher than Baby Boomers.
  • The South shows Baby Boomers moving online, but they still are looking for deals in-store: Baby Boomers are visiting multiple stores and searching online almost equally in the southern region of the U.S. (63 percent versus 67 percent, respectively). However, stores should still be ready for the discount-searching Millennial as eight percent more (71 percent) are visiting multiple stores looking for deals than Baby Boomers.
  • Affluent consumers are more likely to go online looking for deals, particularly among Baby Boomers: While annual income appeared to be less impactful on Millennial behavior, Baby Boomers that make $100,000 or more a year are 17 percent more inclined to search online for deals than in-store (77 percent versus 60 percent). For Baby Boomers making less, the difference was far less significant, with only six percent more inclined to look online versus in-store (62 percent versus 56 percent).

First Insight’s findings are based on a targeted sample of 750 respondents from three distinct demographics: Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials in the U.S. The survey was fielded in March 2017 and was completed through proprietary sample sources amongst panelists who participated in online surveys.

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