Your 3-Step Plan to Attract Millennial Holiday Shoppers

If you haven’t launched your holiday marketing plan, step to it! According to Rubicon Project’s annual Holiday Consumer Pulse Poll for 2016, nearly a third of consumers began their holiday shopping before Labor Day. As you craft and deploy this season’s strategy, it’s crucial to address the particular shopping habits of the millennial generation to ensure you draw them to your brand.

Here are three ways to make sure you attract millennials, earn their trust, and reap more revenue this holiday season.

Series set on a festively decorated street at Christmas time. Caucasian groups of shoppers walking, carrying presents, etc.


Unlike previous generations who shopped with Google searches, millennials look to other trusted sources to glean the latest trends.

For instance, millennials browse Pinterest or Houzz when they’re shopping for home decorating ideas. Those looking for gadgets or gear rely on The Sweethome and The Wirecutter. Fashion fans are found on Instagram and are most likely loyal followers of the Kardashians. Many millennials now begin their product discovery on Amazon, which, in August, set up a dedicated shop for items featured on Product Hunt that curates the hottest new apps, websites, and tech creations. It’s these sites’ search fields, not Google, that receive those valuable searches—and should receive the majority of your focus.



Millennials love a bargain. According to a recent study by Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, the primary purchase-driver for millennials is price. They are budget-conscious and actively avoid adding to burdensome student loan debt. We’ve learned from previous holiday seasons that millennials search out both traditional savings tools like coupons and more modern tech-driven incentives. So layer your discount enticements—such as in-store paper coupons, discounts for downloading apps, and loyalty rewards—to multiply your touchpoints, which will grow and strengthen brand loyalty among this generation.

Also take note of how many millennials are funneling their funds away from stuff and into experiences. A study by Eventbrite found that more than 75% of millennials surveyed would rather spend money on a desirable experience or event than on a desirable item, while 55% said they’re spending more on events than ever before. 52% of millennials’ holiday spending was projected to be on experience-related purchases such as travel and entertainment, versus 39% for older shoppers, according to a 2015 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers. If you really want to reach this demographic, you should sponsor or produce events for millennial communities or partner with socially minded organizations to activate millennials’ urge to engage in activity centered around positive change.

You can also use the “Fear Of Missing Out”—or FOMO—to stand out from the crowd on Cyber Monday. Rubicon Project’s study found that 74% percent of millennials love this annual online shopping event, and 22% of Americans have already started researching Cyber Monday deals as of August, up 10% from this time last year. Gain an edge by marketing your promotions ahead of time so that millennials will plan in advance to spend their holiday dollars on your special offers—and encourage their friends to do so as well.



Millennials have grown up in an on-demand world in which they can customize everything from their latte to their sneakers, and they expect the same from their shopping experiences. They expect retailers to make the purchasing process as convenient as possible with free shipping and returns, personable and efficient customer service, and payment options that support their budgets and spending patterns. Ensure that your payment process is simple and smooth across all platforms; mobile devices accounted for 45% of all web transactions in the first quarter of 2016, and are expected to grow to 60% of traffic by the end of next year.

Flexible payment options like 0% financing are also crucial to attracting and retaining loyal millennial customers, especially because 63 percent of them don’t have a credit card. A fashion retailer saw conversion rates jump from 45% to 71% after a 0% APR financing promotion with Affirm. Millennials just beginning to build their credit and savings appreciate the affordability offered by flexible payment options, and we all know that satisfied customers return to purchase again.

So, as we sprint toward the holiday shopping season and you work to secure a sizeable slice of millennial spending, keep these tips in mind: Market where millennials will see your content, construct unique promotions that reflect their particular preferences, and offer creative, transparent, and flexible payment choices to seal the deal and rake in the revenue.

Affirm can help you upgrade your consumer financing options; reach out to your Merchant Success Manager, or email [email protected]. If you’re new to Affirm and would like to learn more, please email [email protected].