How Mobile Millennials Buy

October 19, 2016

By Chuck Martin

Like most consumers, almost all millennials shop in person, but they also turn to their smartphones for all kinds of commerce.

Millennials in the U.S. who shop in person do it because of a sense of immediacy and the ability to touch the product and in many cases see if it fits, based on a new global study.

The majority (66%) of millennials overall shop in a store rather than online due to being able to get the product right away and 66% because they are able to see, touch and try the merchandise.

The study is based on a survey of 2,800 millennials across seven markets (U.S., U.K., Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Hong Kong and Malaysia) conducted by LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

More (77%) of millennials in the U.S. have that sense of immediacy and 74% want to be able to see and try the merchandise.

However, American millennials also are turning to theit smartphones for a range of transactions, most notably banking. Here is where U.S. millennials conduct transactions via mobile:

  • 74% — Banking, financial
  • 53% — Online, mobile app purchases
  • 51% — Music, video downloads
  • 44% — Retail purchases

This is consistent with numerous studies that find most shoppers make their final purchase in a physical store, even though mobile devices are used throughout the entire Mobile Shopping Life Cycle.

For U.S. consumers, activities that involve higher risk, such as opening a bank account, are done in person. But mobile is involved in conducting activities in a number of them. Here's where millennials use mobile:

  • 38% — Check order status
  • 26% — Get or reset a password
  • 23% — Renew a subscription
  • 15% — Open an account with a retailer
  • 7% — Open a credit card account
  • 5% — Open an account with a bank

In yet another area that mobile payments may be being held back, many millennials are not feeling confident that they can trust those who provide them.

For example, a large majority (87%) of American millennials use cash, 78% a debit card, 77% a credit card, 55% a gift card but only 12% a mobile wallet. The largest country use of mobile wallets is Mexico at 19% of millennials.

Millennials also have a sense of distrust with retailers and communications companies, along with payment providers. Here's where U.S. millennials have no trust at all:

  • 26% — Mobile wallets
  • 26% — Retailers
  • 22% — Telecom service providers
  • 13% — Financial institutions

So there still looks like some effort and time will have to be involved for millennials to fully embrace mobile commerce across the board.

It's also not only one concern that millennials have. Here's a breakdown of just some the statements around identify or debit or credit information being compromised:

  • 69% — I worry about having my identify stolen in a data breach
  • 69% — When companies ask for my personal information, I think twice before providing it
  • 67% — I worry about having my credit card information stolen
  • 65% — I worry about having my identity stolen through online, app and mobile activities
  • 54% — I am required to remember too many passwords
  • 54% — I would be willing to provide a summary of my shopping habits in exchange for free products or services
  • 36% — I would be willing to provide access to my geographic location in exchange for targeted goods or services

These issues sound pretty much the same as those facing the masses.

Source

"How Mobile Millennials Buy." MediaPost, 10/19/16.

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