Millennials, as you’ve no doubt heard, have a deep interest in personal branding. They want the things they buy to be unique to them.

And that, as you’ve no doubt also heard, makes it difficult for big-name retailers that carry big-name brands to sell to Millennials.

But like so much of conventional wisdom, the data suggests it’s wrong.

Checkout Tracking hosted an exclusive, invitation-only luncheon at Shoptalk on March 21 where we presented awards to the online retailers that made a significant connection with Millennial buyers in 2016.

Take a look at the names of the winners below. What you’ll see is a list that flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Because it turns out that some of the biggest names in the business are making some of the biggest gains when it comes to Millennial buyers.

  • Amazon was recognized as having the largest overall penetration* among Millennial buyers in 2016, based on NPD’s Checkout Tracking information.

  • Target was identified as having the top increase in online penetration among Millennial buyers of all general merchandise retailers in 2016.

The remaining retailers, which spanned a variety of industries, were recognized for having notable increases in online Millennial penetration, within their respective industries, compared to 2015.

  • Nike: (Footwear)
  • Best Buy: (Consumer Electronics)
  • (Health/Beauty)
  • Toys R Us:  (Toys)
  • (Textiles)
  • Walmart: (Housewares)
  • ASOS: (Apparel)
    • So what gives?

      Three things:

      1. The well-established players in the retail world are no longer fumbling around in pursuit of Millennials. The generation that so confused the industry is now fairly well understood.
      2. Once revolutionary companies have now been around long enough to have become marketing powerhouses with well-established brand recognition. ASOS was founded in 2000; Wayfair was founded in 2002. Amazon was founded in 1994.
      3. And most importantly, retailers such as our award winners have learned to give Millennials what they want :

        • Extraordinarily broad assortments
        • The convenience of online ordering and home delivery
        • Reasonable prices

      “Retail is finally addressing the demands Millennials have placed before them,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “Retailers that transform the shopping experience, whether online or in-store, and deliver a personalized approach will be better equipped to win with this generation.”

      For more on how Millennials shop, check out this blog post on “What makes a Millennial spend big?”


      * Penetration is defined as the percent of shoppers who shopped at that particular retailer..


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