Under 35s to drive festive spend, focus on tech and eco products

Under 35s are expected to drive spend this festive season, according to
a new report, with the millennial-and-younger age group paying particular
attention to new technologies, new delivery methods and
environmentally-friendly products.

Shoppers in the 18-34 age group are willing to splash out more this
holiday season – which kicks off with Black Friday on 29 November – with 40
percent saying they plan to up their spend from last year, compared to 28
percent of people across all age groups. That’s according to an online
survey by Capgemini of over 6,700 consumers across France, Germany, Spain,
the UK and the US.

Capgemini said that retailers should focus on the shopping habits of
under 35s if they are to make the most of the festive period, which counts
some of the most important months in the shopping calendar. Key strategies
to achieve this include “channel diversification across online, in-store
and voice; investment in making products and packaging more environmentally
friendly; and using technology to improve the shopping and delivery


Young shoppers are focusing on sustainability, the survey found, with 24
percent of 18-24-year-olds and 22 percent of 25-34-year-olds saying they
would like retailers to make products and packaging more environmentally
friendly, compared to 20 percent of over 35s.

When asked where shoppers would like to see retailers invest their
money, maintaining or dropping current price points came out top (33
percent) but again sustainability was a key consideration, with 21 of all
respondents saying they’d like retailers to offer environmentally-friendly
products and packaging – this number increased to 24 percent among

Across all the countries surveyed, UK shoppers were the most interested
in sustainable packaging (29 percent), followed by Germany (21 percent),
France (19 percent), the US (14 percent) and Spain (14 percent).

But getting the basics right is still important for retailers. When
choosing where to shop, variety and range of products offered was the most
decisive factor for consumers (34 percent), while 33 percent said they
expected delivery or collection from online shopping to be within three
working days. When asked for what they’re looking for when buying gifts for
others, the respondents’ top three answers were quality (54 percent),
cost-saving (54 percent) and variety of products (50 percent).

Generational differences

The survey also found key differences in shopping habits between
generations. The 18–34 age group, for example, is less likely to make
purchases at brick-and-mortar stores, instead opting for online retailers
who offer access to multiple brands. Of that group, 29 percent said they
planned to spend the most money in-store while 37 percent said they’d spend
most at a multi-brand retailer – that compares to 39 percent and 32 percent
respectively for the all-age group average.

Those aged 18–34 are also more likely to use new technologies to enhance
their shopping experience, showing a higher preference for technologies
such as automated checkouts (23 percent vs 16 percent on average), mobile
wallet payments (21 percent vs 12 percent on average), in-store
technologies such as virtual reality mirrors (22 percent vs 15 percent on
average), and new methods of delivery such as drones or in-car delivery (16
percent compared to 10 percent on average).

Kees Jacobs, vice president, global consumer products and retail sector
at Capgemini, commented on the report: “Festive season shopping is critical
to a retailer’s bottom line, and the spending plans of younger consumers
will offer hope to retailers; however, retailers must adapt their strategy
in order to win some much-needed wallet-share from this group.

“Technology can help deliver the quality, cost and range that all
consumer groups want, but retailers must think carefully about how they
balance new investments with meeting the expectations of a younger
generation, while keeping low prices front of mind too.”

Photo credit: Bruce Mars, Pexels


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