Commentary

Luxury Shopping - Millennials Do It Differently

Luxury marketers define their targets in many different ways.  To gain insights into the differences among high-income adults in key age brackets, a recent Shullman Pulse profiled three generations: Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. In this review, these segments are shown two ways-- within two household-income segments:  $75,000 or more, representing 39 percent of all U.S. adults, and $250,000 or more, representing 3 percent of all U.S. adults as well as compared to average American adults (All Adults in the exhibits).  Our special focus is upscale Millennials.

Based on how these three generations think and behave, it’s clear that luxury consumers do not march in lockstep.  

Millennials' Attitudes Towards Shopping

Regarding shopping attitudes, Millennials in both high-income segments indicated they are engaged with the shopping process ("I love to shop"). Also, while remaining somewhat loyal to their childhood brands ("I usually buy the brands my parents bought"), they seek out superior service, look for exclusive, designer products, and are more open to celebrity-endorsed products. The $75,000+ household-income segment are more likely than the more upscale segment to prefer American-made products while a higher proportion of $250,000+ household-income consumers favor designer or luxury brands.  Gen Xers in both segments are drawn to American products and have a greater tendency to shop for quality rather than price.

Millennials Are Into Buying Luxuries

Among adults with household incomes of $75,000 or more, Millennials are much more likely than the older generations to have bought luxury products and services in the past 12 months.  In the upper-income segment, it is the Gen Xers who lead the other generations in buying luxuries. 

Millennials Are Also Planning to Buy More Luxuries

Millennials in both household-income segments are more likely to plan on making luxury purchases in the next 12 months. Overall, the $250,000+ segment leads in luxury-purchase plans.

Looking to the future, our ongoing survey will continue to track these generations regarding their luxury buying behaviors and attitudes as well as other topics of interest to marketers. 

Stay tuned.




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