We recently discussed how Millennials are staking out a bigger claim of the holidays, taking on Thanksgiving hosting duties and spending more on holiday prep as they grow their own families. Young revelers are even adding new gatherings to the calendar, with a growing market for Festivus and Friendsgiving wares that are helping expand what “the holidays” even means.

Here’s a rundown of a few key stats that illustrate how Millennials are impacting retail sales in the lead up to the New Year.

One in six will go mobile-first for their holiday shopping


A recent study from Oath, Verizon’s digital media arm, found that 16 percent of Millennials will increase their reliance on mobile shopping to buy gifts this holiday season, compared to 13 percent last year.

In total, 61 percent of this age group will rely heavily on mobile to do browsing and comparison shopping (regardless of which channel ultimately drives a sale), while 40 percent will be making direct purchases on their mobile devices.

The survey found that mobile will play a pivotal role in various stages of the shopping journey among this age group; 71 percent expect to use mobile to compare prices across retailers, 69 percent plan to use their devices to research products, and 61 percent intend to use messaging apps to communicate with friends and family about gift plans.

On top of that, 45 percent will be using their phones to get directions to brick-and-mortar outposts to ultimately complete their sale — a perfect example of omnichannel in action.

Consumer confidence is up — and Millennials are ready to spend


An OpenX survey found that most consumers across generations think the economy is doing better than it was a year ago, with three quarters of those polled believing things will continue to trend upward going into 2019. Because of this good fortune, 80 percent of consumers said they’ll either spend the same amount or more on gifts this holiday season than in the past.

This is supported by recent news that retailers are anticipating total holiday sales will jump past the $1 trillion mark for the first time this year.

But what’s really eye opening about the OpenX survey is that it too indicates that mobile is where retailers need to focus if they want a piece of the trillion-dollar, holiday-shopping pie. The report found that Millennials spend five-times more time on their smartphones and mobile devices than they do watching TV. This helps confirm our inkling that eventually, digital and mobile marketing will need to be the primary channels if brands are to thrive — especially considering 25 percent of all consumers watch no live TV at all, the report found.

Shoppers are ready to spend on big tech

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Emerging technologies are at the top of many Christmas wish lists, according CTA’s Consumer Technology Holiday Purchase Patterns Study. While TVs, laptop computers and smartphones are still among the top sellers for the holidays, a lot of new emerging technology will be smashing sales records before the calendar year closes.

Smart speakers, for instance, are set to move 22 million units this season, up 44 percent from sales in 2017. Other IoT tech and smart devices for the home — security cameras, app-operated thermostats and smart light bulbs, to name a few — are on the wishlists of 36 percent of shoppers polled by CTA.

Millennials value convenience — and authenticity — in the apps that drive big purchases

For brands to reap the most rewards this holiday season, they’re apps need to stand out from a crowded field of competitors — even more so than in the days where brick-and-mortar was the only option. A recent report from Roth Capital Partners found that authenticity and personalization are what Millennials value most from the apps they use.

For instance, the study showed that only 26 percent of users weren’t comfortable sharing personal information if it meant a more tailored experience — indicating that brands can collect a great deal of useful data on their subjects if they’re up front and ethical about how they use it, and offer users meaningful value in return.

Managing this data and putting it to good use is where Localytics comes in, as we can deliver insights to app providers that can help them put that sense of meaning into every customer interaction.

What habits do you see emerging among Millennials this holiday season? Leave your comments below!