The Millennial Path to Purchase: Clothing

image of clothing on rack
In this installment of the millennial shopper deep dive, we break down the clothing path to purchase.  From the motivations that trigger a shopping trip to the actual purchase and eventual restart of the cycle.  This is the latest in our millennial shopper series, where we also cover food and beverages, and personal care & beauty.

Motivated by Sales

Millennials go shopping for clothes when there are sales and for social or entertainment reasons like an upcoming special occasion. They’re also likely to go when they’re looking for something to do. These trip drivers are unique for millennials when it comes to apparel and don’t play as large a role for other categories.

Just as clothing trips themselves are motivated by sales, pre-trip activities bear this out as well. Before shopping, millennials make an extra effort to get the best price, look for discounts, and consult both digital and offline sources. This is again a behavior more associated with the apparel shopper journey than the millennial shopper journey for other products.

Surprising Store Habits

Despite the prevalence of smartphones, millennials most often turn to in-store activities like price and product comparisons. Millennial shoppers, and millennial women in particular, are also the segment most likely to actually enjoy browsing for products while in store relative to older segments.  They are the ideal recipient of shelf-level engagement.

Despite the availability of clothing-only retailers, they actually do more of their apparel shopping at big box stores. Walmart and Target top the list of retailers that millennials frequent for their apparel needs. They find value in the wide selection offered at these stores.

Very Brand Loyal

Very few millennials will settle for alternative clothing brands if they already have one in mind when they get to the store, even if that brand isn’t available. A full 77% of millennials who know what apparel brands they’ll buy will order online, go to a different store, or wait until their next trip to buy that same brand if it’s unavailable.

To get access to the full study, including insights and strategies to better connect with millennials, contact us.


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