Who Loves Christmas Crowds Best? Gen Y

While marketers are appealing to Millennials’ passion for digital, a new survey from NPD and CivicScience turns up some unexpected results: While only 21% of U.S. consumers actually enjoy shopping in physical stores during the holiday, Gen Y is the most enthusiastic.

Overall, the poll — based on some 6,200 responses — found that 56% of adults plan to do most of their shopping in stores, while 44% of adults plan to do most of their shopping online.

It also turned up some surprises by segmenting people into three groups: Those who intend to shop mostly at stores; those who plan to shop online, but primarily through store-branded Web sites, such as, and those who will do most of their shopping through Web-only retailers, such as Amazon.

Those using online-only retailers are least impressed with social media platforms. Only 11% say they love using Pinterest and Instagram, for example, and just 55% love Facebook. For online shoppers using store-specific Web sites, 21% love Pinterest, 23% love Instagram and 79% love Facebook. (That compares with 11%, 14% and 58% for store-only shoppers.)



And those shopping through store-branded Web sites are considerably more likely to own e-readers and to say they are “addicted” to their digital devices —57% — than online shoppers who prefer Web-only retailers.

Of the three groups, those who prefer Web-only retailers are most likely to be younger, childless and have the highest levels of education. And while they are the least likely of all three groups to wait in line, use coupons or pay attention to TV ads, they are most likely to say price matters more than brand. And 48% say they always compare prices before making a purchase -- considerably higher that the 41% of store-only shoppers who say they always comparison-shop, or 34% of store-specific site fans.

The poll also reports that those shopping primarily in stores are less affluent, with 68% earning $75,000 or less per household, and slightly more likely to be women; online shoppers tend to be younger and more educated.)

Macy’s is also finding some surprises in its polling data. In a survey it conducted with Harris Poll, it finds that men are more likely to be holiday snoops than women, with 43% of men admitting that they have searched for hidden gifts at home, or shaken a wrapped package to figure out what’s inside. (Only 35% of women have.) The results, based on 1,700 adults, find Gen Y men are even snoopier: 44%, versus 19% of Gen Y women.

Next story loading loading..