3 Reasons Why Millennials Should Be Your Key Holiday Target Market

From small online t-shirt stores to booming international brands, the holiday season is a defining part of the e-commerce year for anyone selling fashion online. With Black Friday and the Christmas period typically accounting for nearly 20% of yearly sales, it’s also a time where you need your consumer targeting to be absolutely on point – small percentage changes drive outsize revenue over this period.


Fit Analytics sales data sales revenue by month and demographic segment with millennial holiday spend.
Source: Fit Analytics sales data from 3 major US brands, 2014-present.

With an election cycle in full swing, Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) have been dominating the headlines over the last twelve months, and we suspected that they might be playing a hugely significant role in retail results as well. We deal in data rather than best guesses at Fit Analytics, so we decided to dive into the numbers for some definite answers.

After pulling holiday sales data from three major US brands going back to 2014, our hunch proved correct – three primary reasons show clearly why Millennials should be a key holiday target for most online retailers.

1. They’ve Got the Purchasing Power

Baby boomers may have ruled the roost for the past few decades, but their time is drawing to a close. As recent work from Goldman Sachs points out, the Millennial generation is the largest in US history, and they’re coming into their purchasing prime.

Goldman Sachs chart showing size of Millennial generation compared to Boomers.
Census figures gathered by Goldman Sachs show the size of the Millennial opportunity.

Our results bore this point out dramatically, Millennials accounted for a whopping 66.5% of all revenues we tracked over the holiday period. That’s a number that should be giving marketers considerable pause for thought. If Millennials account for two-thirds of your sales, are you certain that you’re dedicating enough marketing spend towards targeting them?

2. They Reliably Ramp Up Spending Over the Holidays

Millennials don’t just have a healthy chunk of change in their pockets, they’re also extremely willing to spend it over the holiday season. As you’d expect, our figures showed a purchase spike across all demographic groups throughout November and December, but the surge was particularly pronounced among the crucial 18–36 bracket – Millennials increased their spending by a staggering 584% over the holidays.

Holiday purchase spikes from Millennials are earlier and higher.

The peak of their spending also arrived earlier in the season than that of other age cohorts. With those figures in mind, it’s clear that e-commerce marketers should be looking to reach this group early and often in the lead-up to the busiest part of the retail year.

3. They’re Less Likely to Return Holiday Purchases

The good news for retailers with Millennials doesn’t stop at the checkout counter, either. Our figures showed that, in addition to buying more than other age groups, they also typically return far fewer purchases than their older cohorts.


Demographic breakdown of e-commerce holiday return rates.
Source: Fit Analytics sales data from 3 major US brands, 2014-present.

The figures above clearly show just what a cost-effective demographic Millennials are to target. Throw in the kind of additional improvements Fit Analytics brings to return and conversion rates across the board, and you’re looking at a huge profit opportunity with this market segment.

If you’d like to spread the word about our findings on Millennial holiday spend, please feel free to download and share our report. We’ll also be diving deeper into holiday datasets in the near future with a view to pulling out more actionable insights for online stores, so stay tuned for follow-ups!