Millennials, Coupons and Personalization

January 4, 2018

Recently, eMarketer released a study entitled Five Things to Keep in Mind About Millennial Shoppers. Of the five, two stood out—coupons and personalization.

According to the eMarketer study, Millennials like (and use) coupons—especially paper ones:

If there’s a coupon out there, millennials If There’s a Discount, Millennials Are There. And discounts definitely impact the way they shop. November 2017 data from CouponFollow found that more than eight in 10 millennials surveyed said they used coupon codes when shopping online—and they used them often. Separate data from YouGov mirrors CouponFollow’s findings. YouGov revealed that nearly a third (34%) of respondents look for online coupons on a weekly basis, and another 40% do so with print coupons.

Coupon usage occurs not only online but in-store, too, as almost one-third of Millennials use coupons in-store often/very often and almost 2/3rds use them sometimes-to-very often:
Convenience and personalization via technology and data are also becoming a more important part of the entire path to purchase for all shoppers, especially Millennials. \Walmart has acknowledged it needs to catch up in the quest to personalize via shopper data. Personalization via data, however, needs to be placed in the service of convenience. Again, according to eMarketer:

Frequency US Millennial Internet users use coupons chart

Whether it’s subscribing to a meal-kit subscription service to receive a prepared meal, buying something online and having the option to return it whichever way is easiest, or being able to scan their own products in-store and then pay via an app, making sure the path to purchase—as well as the post-purchase experience—is seamless is important to keeping this demographic happy.

Finally, Millennials will also be most willing (compared to other demographic groups/cohorts) to allow personalization and convenience to be delivered via technology–something that both manufacturers and retailers must continue to embrace (again, according to eMarketer):

Artificial intelligence, chatbots, big data? If it elevates the retail experience, then millennials are all about it. A survey Salesforce conducted earlier this year gauged how consumers felt about shopping-related technologies that help streamline the retail experience. For the most part they were for it, especially if they were able to receive personalized offers based on their purchasing history. In general, millennials were more optimistic about retail technology capabilities than their older cohorts. And let’s be honest, if anyone is going to buy something directly from a chatbot, it’s millennials.


As data continues to be used to drive personalized offers and incentives , it is imperative for both manufacturers and retailers to develop first-party data strategies (as Walmart, according to the Forbes article, has realized it must do). To be successful with Millennials (who appear most willing to embrace such technology/data-driven offers) these personalized offers must drive convenience and value if they are to be deemed successful.