Millennial shoppers (those in the 13- to 33-year-old demographic) are less likely than their boomer and Gen X counterparts to visit a bricks-and-mortar retail store and leave with a shopping bag, according to a recent study by the market research firm NPD Group.
According to the NPD report, millennials' shopping conversion rate -- that's the percentage of shoppers going in to a physical store who actually make a purchase -- is 57%. By comparison, Generation X's 34- to 48-year-old shoppers hve a conversion rate of 66%, baby boomers (49 to 67) convert at 69% and the 68+ seniors are the generation most likely to turn a store visit into a purchase, doing so 72% of the time.
In announcing the study results, NPD's chief industry analyst, Marshal Cohen, offered the following explanation: "Millennial shoppers have the lowest shopping conversion rate because they are the most selective as well as the most economically challenged."
Interestingly, the same study found that the majority of millennial spending (81% of their collective dollars) takes place in brick-and-mortar stores, compared with 19% online -- and more than half of them (53%) shop in-store in a typical week.
Cohen says "value-oriented retailers" (incuding dollar stores, second-hand stores, drug stores and the like) are getting more millennials through the doors -- and also seeing higher conversion rates.
"Millennial shoppers are the most elusive generation and the most challenging to keep engaged," he says. "In order to get more millennial consumers in store, retailers need to understand how millennials' shopping habits differ from other generations. Previous generations were more easily impressed by marketing and advertising strategies. With this group you must have a strategy to grab their attention in- and out-of-store."