Just for fun, we thought we’d write one of those foolish link-baiting headlines so popular nowadays (see content farms such as Business Insider, Mashable, Motley Fool and LinkedIn). But there are some valid reasons to consider how much more room ecommerce really has to run.
As much as we hate research that tracks behavior through consumer surveys (versus just tallying up real data that exists), we found this one interesting:
“Although online shopping has leveled off overall, the boomer generation has increased their online purchases – up 4.5% since 2011 – while millennials’ online purchase behavior has declined 7% from that time.”
Let us repeat that last bit:
“…millennials’ online purchase behavior has declined 7%...”
This comes to us from “ongoing shopper behavior” research conducted by The Integer Group (capital “T,” mind you) and M/A/R/C Research (slashes in between letters, mind you). Not top-of-mind sources, but solidly reputable. Their output also included this gem:
“Since January 2012…the percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds who say they've purchased any products online, even once, has dropped in all categories except books, music and tickets.”
It would be hard to argue that this is nothing but an economic outcome. Millenials have been particularly crushed in the current environment – no or low-paying jobs, living in Mum’s basement, drowning in school loans.
But since there is no relief in sight, and because they overindex as a percent of the total U.S. population, Millenials could be the future depressors of commerce generally, and ecommerce specifically.
One other data point to consider that we’ve not heard anyone bring up yet. From age 30 and up, there are lots more women than men in this country. But from the Millenials on down, each “year” has about 100,000 more males than females. That translates to 3 million more male shoppers than female shoppers, a shift of 2.4%.