What Do Millennials Really Want From Retailers?

Millennials are set apart from other generations in a variety of ways, including their shopping preferences. Living in a generation where the Internet has made shopping a more convenient exercise but dealing with the limitations imposed by low wages and an uncertain job market, millennial buying habits are something that retailers need to adapt to if they want to corner the millennial consumer. Here are a few things that millennials have come to expect from retailers today:

Online Shopping

The preference for looking and buying online has seen a dramatic rise since 2017, which showed that millennials are more likely to browse online but ultimately buy offline. In 2019, more millennials were browsing and buying online showing a shift towards a totally online shopping experience. Recent developments have made this trend more popular especially when most brick and mortar stores had to close shop due to COVID-19 restrictions while keeping their online stores open for customers. 

Same-day Delivery 

Underscoring millennial priorities on convenience, same-day delivery ranks way up there in terms of importance when buying online. According to Forbes.com, 45% of millennials say that same-day delivery is an important factor for them when they shop online. 

Free Shipping  

Although product price tags are not seen by most millennials as a big factor when shopping online and offline, free shipping plays a big role in their decision to buy a product from a retailer. Research shows that 83% of millennials see free shipping as an important factor paired with flexible return policies.


Brick and mortar retailers still have an edge over online stores and that is in experiential services that are difficult to translate online. For example, wine tastings in clothing boutiques or coffee shop services inside grocery store chains are a serious draw for millennials who prefer to get chores done while socializing with friends. Physical store locations can also be part of retailers’ omnichannel strategy to cater to buyers who browse online but still prefer to make final purchases offline. This means that retailers offering real-time, real-world experiences can continue to remain relevant if they offer tweaks that online shopping cannot offer.

Email Confirmation

Reliable email confirmation services also play a major role in trust-building and creating a reliable image among millennial consumers. According to surveys, 62.4% of millennial shoppers feel anxious when they don’t receive an immediate confirmation purchase by email. Prompt confirmation purchases and even regular email updates on shipping are prized by consumers since they add a layer of security for online purchases.

Social Media Commerce 

Millennials are not averse to shopping on social media platforms from Facebook to Instagram. Unlike older generations, millennials have seen how social media platforms have morphed into effective and convenient access points for purchases. Millennials are not averse to buying from small, cottage-industry sellers that are primarily selling through social media. This means that larger retailers should use social media as another avenue for purchases where customers can directly buy from the platform or be connected directly to the retailer’s main shopping website.

Social Accountability And Trust

Millennials are drawn to manufacturers and retailers that are socially accountable and are transparent about eco-conscious practices. Manufacturers who are also transparent about ethical sourcing and fair labor practice see these as serious draws for socially conscious millennial consumers.

Trusted and Reliable Merchant Payment Systems

The issue of trust extends to payment systems, especially for online purchases because these are issues that cover data security and confidentiality with customer information. Merchant payment systems are systems for processing payments for customers and include credit cards, online wire payments, bank transfers, and the like. These are designed to facilitate different types of point of sale financing such as Buy Now, Pay Later financing, cart financing, and other types of consumer financing. The most common types of consumer payments include cash, Buy Now, Pay Later, mobile payments, bitcoin.


Cash is by far the most reliable and does not come with additional cost to set-up. It also does not come with the security and technical issues that can affect online, mobile, and even credit card payments.

Buy Now, Pay Later 

Buy Now Pay Later financing is becoming increasingly popular among millennials users, especially since approval for Point Of Sale financing is relatively easy and supports the financial flexibility expected by millennials. Buy Now, Pay Later financing from reputable partners like ChargeAfter.com allows shoppers to purchase the goods they want without laying out the total amount upfront. Instead, they apply for a small loan that can be paid back over a few months without having to worry about fluctuating credit card interest or unexpected fees.

Mobile Payments

Mobile payments are electronic payments done using payment platforms that support payment through mobile devices. These are offered by traditional banks through mobile access to bank accounts, mobile bank transfers, and online financing. They are also offered by tech companies that offer bank to mobile wallet transactions such as Alipay, Google Pay, Paypal, and Venmo, digital currencies such as Bitcoin, and contactless payments through NFC (Near Field Communication) systems. 

With more and more millennials opting for online purchases on the go, mobile payment systems are becoming a major player in payment systems especially since they are efficient and come with enhanced security features to protect consumer information.

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