Online retailers are benefiting from millennials in a big way. New research has found that 45 percent of millennials say they spend an hour or more each day shopping online.
All that time spent online highlights a significant shift in the way people shop, a new eMarketer report found. The biggest discrepancy occurs among consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 versus those age 35 and older. Thirty-seven percent of millennials say they would ideally buy everything online, while 28 percent of consumers between the ages of 35 and 64 share that view. Millennials are also more likely than older counterparts to use retail store apps, shopping apps and auction sites.
Younger consumers have good reason for their online shopping habits. The researchers found that millennials have turned to online shopping in large part thanks to discounts offered online. More than half of millennial women and 44 percent of millennial men connected with brands on Facebook and Twitter to receive discounts and exclusive offers.
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Advancements in technology have also popularized online shopping recently. Millennials are also more likely to use smartphones to request a price match, search for the best price at other retailers and even buy items on their phones.
"With digital shopping an ingrained behavior for most millennials — whether they research or buy on the Web — online retail stores and comparison shopping sites will continue to be critical stops in their path to purchase," the eMarketer report said.
Despite their willingness to shop online, millennials are more likely to buy certain products in stores. Respondents are much more likely to purchase shoes as well as personal care and cosmetic items in stores without researching them online. Consumers are nearly as likely to purchase sports equipment online as they are to purchase in store. Respondents say they are most likely to research electronics online, but 50 percent say they will then make purchases in a store. Thirty-eight percent of millennials say they buy electronics online.