From The Editor | May 28, 2015

Considering The Next Generation Of Consumers


By Erin Harris, editor-in-chief

Erin Harris, Executive Editor

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, there are 80 million plus Millennials (the largest cohort size in history). Millennials are never far away from their next text, with 80% sleeping with their mobile phone next to the bed. We’ve written quite a bit about what it means to cater to the Millennial shopper. We’ve covered their buying preferences, the commitment to high ethical standards, as well as their affinity for a seamless omni-channel shopping experience. But a recent conversation reminded me that retailers need to keep thinking forward about not only today’s shopper but also tomorrow’s.

My 5 year old son will enter kindergarten this fall. Countless things excite him about this next phase, but he’s very excited (and adamant) about purchasing a dinosaur backpack. His need for a dinosaur backpack doesn’t surprise me, but how he asked me for it does.  

So, when he asked me to help him “look online for a dinosaur backpack,” I nearly stopped in my tracks. He’s 5, and he asked me to help him look online for a backpack. The words rolled off his tongue easily, because in reality, he understands the concept. My husband does not like to shop, but when he does, he almost exclusively completes his transactions from his laptop or his smartphone. Somewhere along the line, my son has observed and absorbed my husband’s shopping behavior.  Certainly my son’s shopped with us at countless retailers’ brick-and-mortar locations over the years — he’s been to our local Target enough that he could probably help the staff stock the shelves. But based on his own experiences, he wants to begin the process online.

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