With more than two decades in beauty, Celeste Hilling is a recognized media expert on the science of skin care and trends in technology. Based in Southern California, Celeste is also the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is the healthy skin lifestyle company utilizing technology to develop pure, powerful products and engaging consumer experiences. Here, Celeste talks about millennials and how they’re shopping holiday.

Millennials “Make Over” Holiday Shopping

Data on the millennial shopping audience from a new study by Blackhawk Engagement Solutions reveals:1

  • The primary purchase influence for millennials is price. About 95 percent of millennials have the same or greater sensitivity to price as last year.

  • The smartphone is the primary way millennials connect to the internet. Google and Amazon are millennials’ preferred method of comparison shopping on smartphones. Amazon is the most popular retailer app.
  • Fifty-five percent of millennials rely on social media as their primary source for shopping news and information. TV ad spend ranked sixth in how companies are spending their marketing dollars.

  • Eighty-eight percent of millennials would consider buying online and picking up in-store to save $10 on a $50 item.
  • Sixty-nine percent of millennials belong to a retail loyalty program and they prefer to receive program information via e-mail (76 percent).

Suggestions on How To Use This Data

As the numbers show, millennials are disrupting traditional shopping patterns.

“Millennials are leading a change in purchase trends,” said Rodney Mason, Global Vice President of Marketing at Blackhawk Engagement Solutions. “As such, it’s incredibly important for retailers and retail marketers to understand how to appeal to this demographic. Millennials are savvy shoppers and many have come of age in a post-recession era, and our research shows that this group routinely comparison shops on mobile to get the best value and shopping experience.” Some ways companies can use the above data include:

  1. Retailers must have a mobile-first strategy in order to be relevant.
  2. Companies must integrate digital media with a traditional advertising strategy, or consider replacing it.
  3. For brands that ship, consider offering a discount to pick up in store in order to save shipping and handling cost and drive traffic to the store, thus creating an opportunity for education, coaching and more purchases.
  4. Look at brand loyalty in a new way by creating a unique program that builds a community around your brand that’s carried through via all channels, especially social media.

One More Thing: Don’t Ignore Instagram

From eMarketer:2 Instagram is one of the largest mobile ad platforms in the world, with more than 400 million monthly active users. Instagrammers have created a highly-engaged sense of community; 80 million pieces of content are posted on average every day, resulting in 3.5 billion likes daily.

Another reason not to ignore Instagram: targeting with the help of data from parent company Facebook.

A December 4 article on Adweek.com states, “Being able to tap into all of Facebook’s existing targeting capabilities allows advertisers to mirror success quickly on Instagram. Furthermore, creating lookalikes of these audiences will help advertisers scale messaging across Instagram without sacrificing the quality of the audience reached.”

Marketers may find the most success by complementing Facebook and Instagram within a single campaign. The articles cites Mercedes-Benz as an example, stating that the brand increased its website visits by 54 percent by serving branding ads to the same people across Instagram and Facebook, in a paired campaign. By coupling branding ads on both Facebook and Instagram with Facebook direct response ads, the Mercedes-Benz campaign saw website visits jump 580 percent.


1. LuxuryDaily.com – http://www.luxurydaily.com/beacons-to-influence-7-5b-in-millennial-holiday-spending-report/

2. Blackhawk Engagement Solutions – http://www.bhengagement.com/report/infographic-millennials-disrupt-shopping-the-new-world-of-connected-shopping/?utm_source=PR&utm_medium=release&utm_campaign=PR-release-millennial-shopper