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This year, all we want for Christmas is a store full of millennials. Seriously. Even though this group (aged 18 to 34) only make up 26% of the population, millennials are driving 35% of retail spending across the board. According to Ad Age, they'll be spending $200 billion annually beginning in 2017. These four leading millennial shopping trends are tied directly to a generation who wants to live big expansive lives, surrounded by their community of people. By tapping into these trends, you can create a store where millennials feel welcome and love to shop.

TREND #1. MILLENNIALS CRAVE EXPERIENCES

One of the more prevalent millennial shopping trends is that they're looking for (and paying for) experiences. According to EventBrite, 78% of millennial shoppers would rather spend their money on an experience or event than an item

Even though it seems counterintuitive, tapping into this millennial trend is possible as a retailer. According to Accenture, millennial shoppers still actually prefer stores. They want
to try out items before they purchase them, and they like frequenting stores that are actively cultivating their own sense of community and purpose.

How can you create a store that's also an experience? Consider providing live demonstrations of how to set a gorgeous table using our VENTO line as centerpieces. Create relaxing and elegant spaces where customers can try out products and talk to your store experts.

And don't forget the power of social media in creating community: encourage your customers to post from your store and share photos of how customers have styled their own parties or celebrations using your home décor products.

TREND #2. MILLENNIAL SHOPPERS WANT TO CREATE EXPERIENCES FOR THEIR INNER CIRCLE

Millennials are loyal to their friends and family. And they want to create beautiful events and experiences for their community.

For example, over 30% of millennials celebrate Friendsgiving, a twist on the typical Thanksgiving that's devoted to just friends. And when millennial shoppers head out for holiday gifts, they're also looking to splurge on not only their family, but also their friends (and pets!).

Tapping into this millennial shopping trend means creating displays that satisfy this craving for community. That might mean:

  • Setting up fun or quirky Friendsgiving table settings
  • Showing off items, like our wine coasters, that make great BFF presents or hostess gifts
  • Talking about new uses for traditional entertaining items (have you seen these bar cart decorations?)
  • Encouraging them to create custom and highly personalized gifts with special phrases, dates, or initials

TREND #3. MILLENNIALS ARE HIGHLY MOBILE

Millennials are tech savvy and mobile. They shop online more than any other age demographic. According to PFS Web, 79% of millennials found a new product or brand while using their mobile device. One in five rely exclusively on smartphones or tablets to get online, says Square.

Millennial shoppers are using that knowledge to create a truly omni-channel shopping experience for themselves, though. As we've noted, that means they're also coming into th
e store to touch and feel and try out different products they've already researched online. They're reading customer reviews and looking for design inspiration from their favorite blogs while they're browsing your shelves.

To reach a highly mobile audience, you have to be mobile yourself. A recent Annalect survey noted that 35% of millennials would want to buy products on their phones if the process was easier. If you haven't already, create a mobile responsive site where it's easy to buy products and read reviews right from their phone. And, of course, make sure you're active on social, sharing home décor inspiration and links to buy your products.

TREND #4. MILLENNIALS PLAN THEIR WAY TO BETTER PRICES

Finally, millennials are influenced heavily by price. According to Entrepreneur, 95% of millennial shoppers have more or the same sensitivity to price as the previous year. It makes sense that a generation who came of age during a recession is still actively looking for the best deal above all else. But, since they're mobile, they've likely 
already planned ahead by comparing prices at other retailers before they walk into your store.

You can encourage more purchases by rewarding customers for their planning. In the same Entrepreneur article, the author notes that millennials:

  • Prefer higher-value rebate offers over instant discounts, across all shopping categories
  • Will consider buying items online and picking them up in your store to save money, saving you shipping costs as well as bringing customers into your store
  • Enjoy loyalty programs that reward their brand loyalty with additional value, discounts, and freebies

A desire for adventure and new experiences? A craving for community and intimacy? These are motivations that drive all people. By embracing these current millennial shopping trends, we can also help ourselves become better retailers and members of our communities in the process.