Millennial Purchase Behavior Demands Loyalty

When it comes to fashion brands and retailers, 60% of Millennial women learn about the products from having direct contact with others wearing the brand or word-of-mouth, compared with 34% who read online articles to learn about new brands, and 20% learn about brands via social channels. It's a bit different for men in the same age bracket of 18-to-33-year olds.

About 49% of men in this age bracket learn about fashion brands from direct contact with others wearing the brand or word-of-mouth, compared with 29% who read online articles to learn about new brands, and 10% learn about brands via social channels.

More than 1,200 Millennials participated in the PunchTab study analyzing key drivers leading from consideration to purchase, perception of brand loyalty programs, and the most popular loyalty programs among the age group. This group wields more than $600 billion in annual spending power, per the study.

Incentives work. They prefer VIP treatment, exclusive access, and insider specials compared with badges and social recognition from the brand. Some 63% would join a consumer loyalty program if given incentives. Take away the incentives and 35% remain. About 74% of women in this age group belong to two or more fashion-related loyalty programs, while only 52% of men do.

Some 53% would follow a store or brand on Twitter if incentives were given. Without incentives, the number drops to 19%. About 60% would answer polls and surveys if given incentives, whereas 29% would do so without them. And 51% rate exclusive access to events and products as the most desirable type of experience rewards.

Loyalty programs have become a major consideration for consumers. As this age group seeks information about products they're interested in purchasing, nearly 80% turn to online shopping sites first, followed by friends and family at 70%, and brand Web sites at 58%. Survey participants said the top method to share recommendations about fashion brands include friends and family at 62%, followed by Facebook at 45%, online shopping sites at 35%, and Pinterest at 18%.

The study also analyzed the top loyalty programs for Millennials. For men, 27% named Kohl's; 23%, Dick's Sporting Goods; 23%, Target; 21%, American Eagle; and 21%, Gap.

When it comes to mobile, half said they would reveal their mobile number for geo-targeted discounts. Some 58% said they check user reviews before making a purchase, and 24% seek opinions from their social network.

One of the more interesting stats, and a little difficult to believe, this 80 million strong age group that spans multiple generations is estimated to collectively spend $10 trillion in their lifetime.

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