How do Millennials have an Impact on the Retail Market?

Millenials and retail market

Different generations shop in different ways and Millennials prove this. Millennials are currently aged between 20 and 35 or born between 1980 and the end of 1994 (some say 2000).

They are also known as Generation Y because they follow Generation X who were born 1965 -1979. Millennials are some of the 20th century’s last generations and its first truly digital generation. This means they are tech-savvy, mobile and social – but what does that really mean when it comes to their shopping habits?


For millennials smartphones are a dominant method of connection to the internet. This is something previous generations did not have the access to immediately so previous generations tend to use what they know, rather than the latest technological advances which includes using the smartphone. Not only can millennials use Google on their phones to search but those retailers who have picked up on the direction the shopping experience is going have specific apps that potential customers can download onto their phone.

Social Media

Millennials are utilising social media as one of the primary sources to get further information on products, special offers and shopping trends. They can get reviews on the products they are interested in from their peers which for this generation is very important.


As this is a generation that have mainly grown up through tough times and recessions this is the generation which can be most sensitive about price. Millennials also have the ability to instantly compare prices and save on almost anything which can put price ahead of quality and brand.


It is now so easy to compare prices and for the majority of the millennial generation they will always compare prices online before purchasing. They may go instore to buy the item but they will have checked out where to buy that product for the least amount of money.


Due to this generation being price sensitive they really like vouchers to get even more money off or get additions to their purchase. A simple search on Google will normally give a list of sites that offer voucher codes to purchase online or QR codes that can be used in-store on a mobile device.


Giving millennials different options to save money is always a good move. Offering a buy online and then pick up in store (click and collect) to save the customer delivery costs has become very popular with the millennium generation. It saves them money and they can pick up the item when it is convenient to them.

Gift Cards

Millennials are not just price sensitive but also sensitive to cyber security issues and identity fraud. Gift cards are safer to use online than any other digital payment method so prove to be very popular with the millennium generation. A large proportion of millennials will also use PayPal to protect their credit/debit card details so retailers not offering these options could not be getting product sales from this generation.


Millennials are the most likely generation to be signed up to a loyalty scheme. The generation is least likely to be loyal to a brand due to the sensitivity to price but millennials are more likely to choose a brand that has a loyalty program that they can get future vouchers and special deals to save them money.
Millennials are changing the trends of retail shopping from previous generations due to economic climates, technological advances and wanting a seamless buying experience. It is incredibly important for retailers to engage with the millennial generation as they have an incredibly large percentage of the total spending power in the UK.