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Shopping apps have yet to become a majority activity among mobile millennials, based on recent research, but they’re close. March 2015 polling by Pixlee, a photo-curating software marketing company, found that 47% of US millennial mobile phone users had downloaded a mobile shopping app. Females were more likely than males to have done so, at 49% vs. 44%.
Mobile shopping app usage skewed toward older millennials. Nearly two-thirds of 23-to-30-year-old mobile phone users had downloaded such an app, compared with 47% of 18- to 22-year-olds and 41% of 13- to 17-year-olds. Among respondents between ages 13 to 22, females once again beat males for usage, at 48% vs. 44%.
February 2015 polling by Refinery29 showed similar app usage among US millennial female internet users. Around half of respondents from both the 18-to-24 (49%) and 25-to-34 (50%) age groups said they used a lot of apps when shopping, while 50% of younger female millennials and 48% of older female millennials said they liked to shop via brands’ apps.
Pixlee found that mobile shopping app users ages 17 to 30 were most likely to have downloaded such apps because they were easier to use than mobile sites, cited by the majority of downloaders. While millennials may be notorious deal seekers, getting discounts or lower prices was the primary reason for just over one-quarter.
However, millennial shoppers still aren’t all that mobile, with a plurality saying it’s too hard to do so. Retailers looking to push the cohort to purchase on their mobile devices—or at least keep their attention until they move on to another device during the purchase path—must design easy-to-use apps with an optimal browsing experience.
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