Not Nearly as Many Millennials Are Planning to Shop in Stores This Black Friday as in 2015

And buying on mobile devices continues to grow

Millennial Black Friday shoppers planning to buy in stores are down 26% in two years. Getty Images
Headshot of Erik Wander

Significantly fewer millennials are planning on shopping in brick-and-mortar stores this Black Friday compared with just two years ago. In fact, just 35 percent of millennial Black Friday shoppers say they’ll buy in a store this year, down from 61 percent in 2015.

Infographic: Yuliya Kim; Sources: Influenster

Meanwhile, more millennials are planning on doing their Black Friday shopping on mobile devices, and online reviews remain the leading factor influencing their purchasing decisions on the busiest shopping days of the year.

Those are among the findings from product-discovery and reviews platform Influenster, which recently did a follow-up to its 2015 Black Friday and Cyber Monday survey to see if shopping attitudes and behaviors had changed much in that time.

In 2015, 83 percent of those planning to shop online said they would most likely do so on desktops or laptops. In the 2017 survey, that number was down 13 percent, while those planning on shopping via mobile devices or tablets was up 4 percent.

“Evidently, retailers and brands that optimize for mobile conversions over Black Friday and Cyber Monday will reap the biggest rewards,” said Influenster co-founder and CEO Aydin Acar of this year’s results.

An unrelated study recently showed that 50 percent of millennials actually prefer brick-and-mortar stores over other shopping options, but the steep decline in in-store Black Friday shopping in Influenster’s survey, which included more than 25,000 millennials and was specific to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, wasn’t a big surprise, according to Acar.

The surprise, he said, was the drop in showrooming (or checking out products in a physical store and then buying them online), from 44 percent to 29 percent. Still, he said, “marketers should always be ready to embrace diversified paths to purchase in order to remain competitive.”

@ejwander Erik Wander is the digital features editor at Adweek where he oversees Adweek's Story Desk.