Age affects online shopping, survey says

The buying habits -- and spending power -- of younger shoppers is stating to come into focus among small kitchen appliance manufacturers and houseware suppliers. Those born in the 1980s, known as Millennials or Gen Y, are outfitting college living spaces or starting a family. Wherever they are in the continuum, the 18-to-34-year-olds accounted for 22% of small appliance sales in the 12 months ended May 2012, according to research by the NPD.


This age group also accounted for one-third of dollars spent on housewares purchases in the 12 months ended May 2012, gaining five share points and growing 30% in dollar sales over last year. Housewares purchases made by 18-to-34-year-olds were made in-store (65% of dollars), while online purchases accounted for 6% of sales, according to the NPD study. Their consumer data show that as age increases, so does online shopping for housewares products.


The younger age groups accounted for 7% of the dollars spent on their kitchen electrics, although this number increases to 10% for those in the 25-to-34 age segment.

Despite the bad economy, the burden of student debt, and a shrinking job pool, Millennials are more optimistic than any other age group right now, according to “The Economy Tracker,” The NPD Group’s resource for monitoring consumers’ perceptions of the U.S. economic environment.


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