What Influences Millennial Holiday Shopping Most?

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A majority of millennials surveyed plan to shop on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday; what they buy may be highly influenced by others' opinions.

Milliennials will be shopping en masse as the 2015 holiday season officially kicks off this weekend. According to a survey of more than 6,500 American millennials by Influenster, 93% of those polled plan to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Half of millennials surveyed expect to accomplish most of their holiday shopping on those days; only 6% expect to complete their holiday shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

But not all of those millennial shoppers will be in line in-store. Forty-four percent plan to browse in various stores prior to purchasing online for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, while 48% plan to research online before buying in-store on Black Friday. As for purchasing, the split is similar: 67% of respondents plan to shop online on one or both days; 61% also expect to be in-store on Black Friday.

The cross-over continues in terms of the devices milliennials polled plan to use when holiday shopping online. Eighty-three percent expect to do their online holiday shopping via laptop or desktop computer; and 58% also plan to shop via mobile. Almost all of those mobile shoppers (95%) expect their purchases to be via mobile websites; 55% say they expect their mobile purchases to also be via apps. Ten percent say they may make holiday purchase on their mobile devices using social media site “buy” buttons.

Although social media may not be a primary destination for purchases, it is influential in terms of millennials' holiday-purchase decision-making, according to the study. Fifty-eight percent of respondents say that social media posts may influence their purchase decisions.

In fact, other people's opinions seem to weigh heavily in millennial's holiday purchase plans. Nearly three quarters of those polled (72%) claim that online reviews may influence their holiday purchase decisions, and 53% say that word of mouth is influential. Other sources of influence on millennials' holiday purchase decisions are brand websites (47%), television (28%), catalogs (24%), and magazines (24%).

As for where respondents expect to shop, their top three planned destinations are Target (85%), Amazon (70%), and Walmart (66%).

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