Gift cards are becoming an increasingly popular choice for motivating Millennials (we recently wrote about their preference for e-gifting) and according to a report from the NPD Group and UPenn’s Wharton School, gift cards are quite popular with the 18 to 34-year-old crowd. The report studies consumer behavior in the retail industry and how the landscape is changing with new technology. The study looked at retail trends across the generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials.
“The gift card share of wallet is higher for Millennials than for other age groups at mass merchants, convenience stores, and warehouse clubs.” Denise Dahlhoff & Sarah Wittenborn
Younger Millennials vs. Older Millennials
The Millennial generation has distinct purchasing differences even within their own group based on age and whether or not they have children. The younger Millennials (18-24-year-olds) view mobile technology as a way of life and have an affinity for app-based services. While the older Millennials (25-34-year-olds) tend to spend more overall on shopping.
Younger Millennial Trends
- Mobile technology is a way of life
- Prefer a shopping “experience” and appealing marketing
- Prefer to buy gift cards in convenience stores, mass merchants and warehouse clubs.
- Purchase accessories, footwear, and personal care products
- Enjoy lifestyle apps, buying games, music, books, and tickets online
- Online expenses with technology, travel services such as Uber, and food service delivery such as GrubHub
Older Millennial Trends
- Interested in fashion and design retail, as well as Etsy
- Those with children spend relatively more on baby products and toys
- Purchases in department stores on appliances, footwear, and housewares
- Online purchase of baby products, grocery and gourmet food, tickets, events, and travel
- Online expenses also skew towards food service delivery, and travel services as well as specialty retailers, such as J. Crew and Sephora
As always there are exceptions. Millennials with children tend to have lower spending on gift cards, as well as pet supplies. Millennials without children buy more gift cards, gas, and health & beauty items. Older Millennials, along with those without children, purchase most of their gift cards at mass merchants in comparison to other generations.
GiftCard Partners teamed up with Shapiro+Raj to add additional insight on how gift cards are currently used in the U.S. Download our B2B Gift Card Study: Trends in Industry Behavior webcast to learn more.