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Impulsive buying behavior of Millennials

Mar 14, 2014

Browsing, Impulsive Buying High Among Millennials

Research reveals high rates of impulse buying among Millennials.  About 50% purchase items they didn’t plan to purchase.

Unplanned spending more than half of Millennial purchases There are many reasons to be concerned about Millennial spending habits.  A difficult economy, high student loan burdens, and rising costs of living are among the obstacles faced by today’s youth.  Yet, research that young individuals also face a self-imposed financial burden: impulsive shopping habits.


According to a November 2013 AOL survey, 60% of Millennial internet users, those between the ages of 18 and 34 years of age, agreed that they browsed the internet daily in search of items to purchase, regardless of their intentions to make the purchase.  In comparison, this number decreased to 46% once individuals between the ages of 34 and 64 were included in the results.


The research suggests that Millennial online browsing habits contribute to impulsive buying habits.  According to the survey of Millennials, 52% agreed that they purchased items that they didn’t previously intend to buy.  Yet, in comparison, 40% of Gen Xers and 30% of Baby Boomers reported the same behavior.

The research has key implications for marketing professionals.  First, while internet users in all age groups are partial to a specific brand before they shop, those who are undecided on brands can be converted.  According the research even while 66% of respondents who browsed for products daily were committed to a specific brand, 24% used research to make their decision, and 10% decided on the brand while they were shopping.  Additionally, of those who browsed the internet less periodically, on a monthly basis, only 48% expressed commitment to a brand.  In addition, 46% of those who infrequently browsed the internet to shop were committed to a specific brand.

The online shopping patterns of both Millennials and the general public demonstrate the opportunities for marketing to and converting online shoppers in all age groups.

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