Turns Out the ‘Digital Generation’ Actually Prefers Shopping IRL

A new survey provides some interesting insights.

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According to a recent report, the majority of millennials prefer to buy their furniture in stores, as opposed to online. So much for virtual retail therapy, we guess.

HFN’s annual Millennial Total Home survey found that 63 percent of the 18-to-34 demographic would rather source their furniture from physical shops. That finding was supplemented by a slightly less generous report done by Smarter HQ, which announced an equal split—50 percent—in preference between in-store and online.

That said, it’s still somewhat of a surprise when you consider the overwhelmingly popular belief that millennials tend to lead a more tech-savvy lifestyle.

“While we’re seeing much more mobile traffic than we ever have in previous years, our survey found that brick and mortar is alive and well with millennials, and the need for a strong, well-executed, and cohesive omnichannel presence beyond online is key when capturing millennial spend,” said Smarter HQ CEO Michael Osborne.

In other words, home goods retailers shouldn’t exclude the power of their physical stores when it comes to developing advertising strategies. The Smarter HQ survey also found that those strategies need to become more efficient, with 74 percent of millennials reporting frustration with too much marketing communication, and 70 percent stating a preference for personalized promotional emails over more general ones.

Also of note? Millennials are apparently not very interested in brand loyalty. Only 6.5 percent of millennials surveyed considered themselves to be loyal to a specific brand.

This is only the latest in a string of slightly unexpected news regarding America’s home furnishing shopping preferences. In July 2017, it was announced that Costco beat out both Ikea and Target for the nation’s favorite furniture retailer, with Costco accruing a loyalty score of 72 percent.



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Elly Leavitt

Writer and Editor

Elly enjoys covering anything from travel to funky design (tubular furniture, anyone?) to the latest cultural trend. Her dream apartment would exist on the Upper West Side and include a plethora of mismatched antique chairs, ceramic vessels, and floor-to-ceiling bookcases—essential to her goal of becoming a poor man’s Nora Ephron. You can probably find her in line at Trader Joe’s. You will never find her at SoulCycle.