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Online Holiday Shopping Generations are more similar than we think
digital technologies challenge the relevancy of demographic marketing 2 sophisticated ad targeting technology easily identifies intended audiences powerful personalized recommendation engines drive additional sales
and yet we still think generationally… 3
…as we should. 4 Millennials Age 18-34 Born 1981-1997 Generation X Age 35-50 Born 1965-1980 Silent Generation Age 70+ Born 1945 or earlier Baby Boomers Age 51-69 Born 1946-1964
millennials are posed to reshape the economy… the boomers are no longer the biggest generation in the US millennials will be the dominant force shaping the marketplace for decades to come 5
…but GenX and Baby Boomers still drive spending today spending power will come with age for the millennials In the meantime, genX and boomers have the spending power 6 Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Feb 2015 Combined Average Annual Income and Spend of GenX and Baby Boomers
7 data is everywhere yet actionable market-level, ecommerce data is elusive
the right ecommerce data is in ereceipts 8 receipt discovery field extraction data science order date merchant merchant category item description item price units shipping & handling price sales tax method of payment shipper origin warehouse/DC shipment transit points order date ship-from warehouse date delivery date age gender household income ethnicity occupation zip code PII available for blind matches
let’s be honest 9 (this is how we typically view online shopping by generation) VS
baby boomers dominate holiday spend 10 share of holiday sales by generation Source: Slice Intelligence. 11/1/14 – 12/31/14. n=1,126,541
genX spent most per person in2014 holiday season 11 average merchants shopped average order size purchase frequency spend per person Source: Slice Intelligence. 11/1/14 – 12/31/14. n=1,126,541
the online holiday shopping season breaks intofour segments 12 sales by day (in millions) Black Friday Manic Monday Cyber Monday November 1 December 23 Source: Slice Intelligence. 11/1/13 – 12/23/13, 11/1/14 – 12/23/14. n=1,270,367 Pre-Season Peak Season Late Peak Last Minute
we all shop at similar times during the season 13 percent of holiday sales 11/1/14 – 11/26/14 11/27/14 – 12/1/14 12/2/14 – 12/14/14 12/15/14 – 12/31/14 Source: Slice Intelligence. 11/1/14 – 12/31/14. n=1,126,541
no one likes shipping fees 14 Source: Slice Intelligence. 11/1/14 – 12/31/14. n=1,126,541
pure play retailers dominate online sales, with big box retailers leading in brick and mortar 15 top 10 Big Box retailers online Best Buy Walmart Target Home Depot Costco Old Navy Toys R Us Lowe’s Staples Sam’s Club Source: Slice Intelligence. 11/1/14 – 12/31/14. n=1,126,541
baby boomers and genX account for 68% of big box retailers’ online holiday sales 16 Source: Slice Intelligence. 11/1/14 – 12/31/14. n=1,126,541
what are the similarities and differences between category and merchant preferences by generation? 17 which categories generate the most dollars during the holiday season? which categories see the greatest increases during the holiday season? which merchants generate the most dollars during the holiday season? which merchants are uniquely appealing to each generation during the holiday season?
online holiday category and merchant preferences are more similar than different across generations 18 top categories based on holiday sales “pop” categories during holidays #1 electronics #2 apparel #3 home & kitchen #1 photos and paper products #2 toys and games #3 gift cards
19 millennial unique habits millenials are where new models first pop key takeaways mobile-first merchants Emerging subscription key themes unique categories shopped unique merchants shopped health & beauty home improvement baby products tickets and events
20 genX unique habits genXers are stretched for time over the holidays key takeaways Kids Full-service groceries key themes unique categories shopped unique merchants shopped electronics sports and outdoors photo and paper products
21 baby boomer unique habits boomers haven’t really changed their shopping habits with the advent of online – they’ve just moved channels key takeaways catalog/Mall merchants pets traditional gift categories tv shopping merchants app-based gaming key themes unique categories shopped unique merchants shopped apparel flowers and gifts
22 while not all buy online, those that do spend as much as any other generation – and men account for the majority of spending key takeaways neutraceuticals traditional gift categories off price/off brand key themes unique categories shopped unique merchants shopped movies and tv appliances gift cards flowers and gifts silent generation unique habits
23 we have found evidence that personalization algos. might act differently if overlaid with generation data Boomer apparel brand affinities among Nike buyers Millennial apparel brand affinities among Nike buyers
key takeaway #1 finding 25 there are more similarities than differences between generations’ online shopping habits. implication merchants and brands must not solely look at online as the channel where they cultivate younger shoppers. older shoppers are just as likely to be driving sales today.
key takeaway #2 finding 26 emerging ‘mobile first’ and subscription businesses are driven by millennials. implication brands seeking to cultivate younger shoppers should build and support mobile first and subscription businesses. those in that space today should seek to diversify to older audiences, particularly time starved genXers
key takeaway #3 finding 27 millennials generate the lowest average order sizes of all generations. implication merchants that aspire to attract younger shoppers would benefit from lower minimum free shipping and handling thresholds.
key takeaway #4 finding 28 boomers and silents dominate sales of traditional holiday gift shopping categories such as gift cards and flowers. implication merchants in traditional gift shopping categories would uniquely benefit from age-based ad targeting.
key takeaway #5 finding 29 genX online holiday shopping behaviors reflect their scarcity of time. implication for those that uniquely sell to GenXers, focus on time saving features and functionality: click and collect gift suggestions gift wrapping holiday is a good time to acquire full service grocery customers
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Which generation accounts for the largest share of purchases during the holiday season? Millenial Generation (18-34) Generation X (35-50) Baby Boomers (51-69) Silent Generation (70+) 33 Audience Question #1
Which generation spends the least, per buyer, during the holiday season? Millenial Generation (18-34) Generation X (35-50) Baby Boomers (51-69) Silent Generation (70+) 34 Audience Question #2
35 Holiday Index v. Rest of Year* Holiday Opportunity Matrix * (Category Share of Dollars Nov 1 2014 – Dec 31 2014 / Category Share of Dollars Jan 1 2014 – Oct 31 2014) * 100