Millennials Are Saying Goodbye To Brick and Mortar

Marc Mezzacca
Published on: 03/18/19

Just about 18 months ago we did our first Millennial shopping survey and report. We were surprised to find that Millennials were still hanging tight to their in-store shopping ways. We’ve run our survey again with some additional, very timely questions, and again crunched the data.

While previously in-store shopping was preferred by a significant margin, this is no longer the case. It seems Millennials are finally cutting their ties to in-store shopping, and turning their full attention to their favorite digital device. This makes sense, and correlates with a large number of large retailer store closings happening over the past couple years.

You can find the highlights below, or download the full report here.


Mobile shopping, and purchasing, is on the rise among Millennials at a fast pace.

  • Millennials no longer heavily prefer in-store shopping over mobile shopping, a major shift from our 2017 report.

  • Millennials have made a dramatic shift from in-store to online as their primary purchasing method, with mobile preference more than doubling over the last 18 months.

    • Mobile-based shopping increased from 16% to 36%
    • Computer-based shopping decreased from 31% to 24%
    • Brick and Mortar shopping decreased from 53% to 40%

Preference of in-store purchasing has dropped significantly.

  • More Millennials are now interested in shopping entirely digital, 39% both discover and purchase new products online, compared to 30% in 2017.
  • 65% of Millennials would most often ultimately make an online purchase of a new product, compared to 51% in 2017.
  • 35% of Millennials would most often ultimately make an in-store purchase of a new product, compared to 49% in 2017.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Digital purchasing, especially via mobile devices, is rapidly increasing in popularity with Millennials.

Millennials love Amazon.

  • Two-thirds (64%) of Millennials make half or more of their purchases on Amazon
  • One-third (34%) of Millennials make at least 4 out of 5 purchases on Amazon
  • When shopping on, Millennials are most impacted by, and just about equally concerned with, reviews and pricing when making a buying decision.

Millennials still prefer to receive coupon discounts by email.

  • Email is still the most preferred method, with 1 of every 2 Millennials preferring it to other methods.
  • Mobile app-based coupons were preferred by almost 1 in 4 Millennials (23%), doubling in preference since 2017.
  • One in ten prefer receiving coupons by postal mail, down from one in five in 2017.
  • Chatbot-based coupons preference remains largely unchanged and insignificant.

Millennials are willing to spend more time looking for coupons and discounts than they were in 2017.

  • 56% spend three minutes or longer searching for coupons, compared to 45% who would spend the same amount in 2017.
  • Just 5% of Millennials don't search for coupons, down from 11% didn't in 2017.

More Millennials are more comfortable with, and are using, browser extension shopping tools to help them find coupons and save money on purchases.

  • 44% of Millennials sometimes or often use browser extensions to save money while shopping, compared to just 21% in 2017.
  • Just 11% of Millennials reported not knowing what a browser extension is, versus 26% in 2017.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Millennials continue to grow fonder of leveraging technology to find discounts.

Millennials are split on using voice assistants for shopping.

  • 45% of shoppers suggest they use a voice assistant when doing various shopping activities such as searching for products or product reviews.
  • Google’s Assistant (24%) slightly edged out Apple’s Siri (19%) and Amazon’s Alexa (18%) as their preferred voice assistant for shopping activities, while Microsoft’s Cortana (5%) lagged significantly behind.

Millennials aren’t using smart speakers or voice-controlled home devices for shopping, yet.

  • 42% have a smart speaker device, but didn't make any purchases with it in 2018.
  • Only 4% made more than one purchase using their home smart speaker in 2018.

Millennials aren’t consistently spending cryptocurrency while shopping, but there are signs of interest.

  • While 90% of Millennials know about or have heard of cryptocurrency, only 4% use it whenever possible.
  • 22% of Millennials made one or more purchases by paying with cryptocurrency in 2018, but only 6% made more than 5 purchases using cryptocurrency.


For this report, we polled 1,002 Millennials between the ages of 22-37 from all over the United States.

Representing a broad economic scope, with an annual household income ranging from 0-$200,000+, participation was almost evenly split amongst Millennials who identify as male or female (53% and 47%, respectively).

The data was collected in January of 2019. This report also features comparisons to our previous Millennial shopping report research done in 2017.

For more information, you can download the full report here.

about the author

Marc Mezzacca
Founder and CEO, CouponFollow
As the Founder and CEO of CouponFollow, Marc has a passion for helping consumers save time and money while shopping online. He’s been a bargain and deal hunter since the early 2000s.