Heartbeat Survey Reveals Surprising Holiday Shopping Trends Among Millennial Consumers

Staff Report

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Just in time for holiday shopping, Heartbeat announces the results of its user survey which shows millennials prefer to shop online over in-store and the majority plan on spending more than 100 dollars on gifts this year. The study also supports a notable shift toward a sharing economy as most millennials want experience gifts, like concerts or trips, over owning things.

  • 83% of millennials will shop online on Black Friday but only 51% in-store

  • 58% shop for all holiday gifts online; 22% go to the mall

  • 48% will spend 100-500 dollars on holiday gifts this year, 16% will spend more than 500 dollars, and 10% claim they will spend "more than they want to say"

  • 90% want to receive an experience gift vs. a product; only 46% have ever given an experience gift

  • 89% have purchased a gift through their phone

This data provides insight into the upcoming generation of consumers and was collected from more than 13,000 responses on Heartbeat's in-app surveys. It comes in the wake of a new reality in which technology rules all, millennials have a decreased desire to own goods and are renting or borrowing more often, and despite college loans they still manage to succumb to the pressure of holiday spending.

"We're learning the holidays don't discriminate and everyone falls victim to the pressure to spend," said Brian Freeman, CEO and Co-Founder of Heartbeat. "While we see millennials are leaning toward a no-ownership mindset, they continue to purchase mass amounts of goods to give during the holidays."

However as we have seen, 90% of millennials want to receive an experience over a product. So, why does this debt-riddled generation continue to spend so much on tangible goods with only a minority having actually given an experience gift? Shopping for older family members or last-minute buys could play a role, but ultimately it comes down to ease.

Online shopping has taken the retail industry by storm, leading to what some have called the "retail apocalypse" with major national chains closing more and more stores each year. It's clear that online retailers provide the freedom and efficiency that proves attractive during the busiest time of the year and that is hard to beat for struggling brick and mortar stores. On Black Friday, for example, more than 83% of survey respondents report they intend to shop the discounted prices online with only 51% planning to purchase in-store.

While millennials continue to favor online shopping, we're also starting to see an increase in connected device usage as 40% of millennials plan to use a voice device to order gifts this year.

"We're really starting to understand what drives this generation," said Kate Edwards, Heartbeat COO and Co-Founder. "Through conducting surveys like these, we're helping brands figure out real figures and trends and then take action with that knowledge."

Heartbeat's platform offers multiple innovations in brand marketing and the surveys currently average 30,000 responses per day. Through actively engaging millennial consumers, Heartbeat is helping the world get to know this generation a little better and strengthening brand connections with over 250,000 ambassadors nationwide.