If asked which demographic spends the most on the holidays, many people would assume it would be older consumers. Though older generations have the most family members to consider buying things for, there's evidence to suggest that younger consumers will be the big spenders of 2017. Two recent surveys found that 20-somethings and other Millennials will spend the most on holiday gifts this year.

The National Retail Federation and Coupons.com released results from separate surveys that both indicated younger consumers plan to do a lot of spending on gifts this year, more so than any other demographic. Business owners and marketers can use this information to fine tune their holiday advertising campaigns.

According to the NRF study, the majority (54 percent) of consumer plan to spend about the same as last year overall on gift purchases. Just about one in four (24 percent) are planning to spend more. However, things look better when focused on younger audiences. Among survey respondents ages 18-24, nearly half (46 percent) said they will spend more than last year. The next-closest group was those aged 25-34 years old, where 39 percent were planning to spend more.

"As Gen Z and Millennials gets older, their purchasing power increases, and the rise in disposable income is sure to be seen by retailers," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "This group of consumers has spent time carefully researching gifts for friends, family and themselves, and are ready to begin knocking out their shopping lists."

In a similarly themed study, Coupons.com found that 20-somethings were planning to spend the most during the holidays and they had the highest opinion of value of things like Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

The Coupons.com holiday survey, which surveyed 1,052 participants across the United States explores "consumer habits and current holiday sentiment around what Americans enjoy most about Thanksgiving; favorite and least favorite holiday foods; perceptions about just how good deals are on Black Friday and Cyber Monday; where people will most likely shop - online or in-store; how much money they plan on spending on gifts; and ways they look to save money."

The study found survey participants in their 20s believed they get the best deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, compared with older generations who tend to be more skeptical of the savings on those all-important retail days.

The Coupons.com survey suggests that 64 percent of 20-somethings believe they find the best deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, whereas all other age groups don't believe those days offer the best deals. For comparison, only 38 percent of the over 60 crowd believe those days are the smartest shopping days. And nearly half (45 percent) of those over 30 believed the best deals were after the holidays.

This research can be helpful for marketers who are planning their holiday spending budget. There seems to be a value to pushing Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales more toward younger audiences. This doesn't mean ignore the other demographics, but marketers may want to add a little extra to the Black Friday ads targeting younger audiences and do the same for older audiences when the after-holiday sales start.

For more recent research that can help your business this holiday season. Read this article on the importance of offering free and fast shipping for getting consumers to make an online purchase.

Published on: Nov 20, 2017
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