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Total home: The millennial consumer speaks: Millennials favor the in-store shopping experience and entertaining at home.

In the past year, Millennials purchased roughly 63 percent of their indoor home furnishings from a brick-and-mortar store, according to HFN's annual Millennial Total Home survey conducted in June 2017.

While this number is down two percent from HFN's 2016 survey, in-store furniture shopping still reigns over online as the preferred avenue of purchase for the younger generation. Among the reasons for that choice are the ability to see and feel a product and getting an idea of how the furniture would look in their home.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents indicate that they absolutely need to touch, feel and see a mattress before purchasing. The same was said of larger furniture such as sofas, bedroom furniture and dining room furniture by 63 percent of respondents. When asked about what they liked best about shopping in-store, one respondent, a female Millennial from the Northeast, answered, "I can see and touch the product that I'm going to buy so I feel more confident about my decision."

The majority of respondents, 55 percent, prefer seeing retail furniture displayed the way it would look in their home as opposed to organized by category or department. One male Millennial explained his preference as follows: "It could give me a better idea as to how it would look in my home. It would give me ideas on what to buy that would look good with what I'm interested in."

In-store shopping is not without its drawbacks, however. Millennials are independent shoppers and often find themselves driven away by overly aggressive sales associates. For smaller ticket items in particular, many respondents said it was not important at all that a salesperson help or assist them with shopping--48 percent for linens, 44 percent for accents such as area rugs and wall decor, and 42 percent for lamps or lighting fixtures. For larger items, the majority of respondents felt it was somewhere between neutral and important that a salesperson offer guidance. Still, just 16 percent indicate that it's very important to them to have sales assistance for large furniture, while an even smaller amount, one out of 10, said the same about mattresses.

When asked what they liked least about shopping in-store, a great number of respondents mentioned the pressure of sales associates. One respondent said, "Salespeople. I hate saying this, because I was one, and you need them to actually enter sales, but commissioned sales or tracked sales are the worst." A female from the Midwest answered, "The salespeople hassling you. I prefer to shop alone and ask for help when I need it." Perhaps that is partly why Ikea and Target top the list of favorite home furnishing retailers for Millennials; the two retailers do not have commission-based store associates.

Respondents also specified services or events that home furnishings stores could offer to gain their foot traffic and business. More than three quarters said they would be more likely to shop and buy at a home furnishings store that is having a sale or special promotion and one that offers delivery. Sixty-three percent would likely frequent a place that carries affordable home furnishings, and 52 percent responded that a store with a broad selection would gain their attention.

Indeed, Millennials exert their buying power at their preferred stores. Last year, they spent a median of $600 on indoor home furnishings and plan to spend a median of $580 in the next 1 2 months. They also spent a median of $200 on outdoor furnishings in the past 1 2 months and plan to spend a median of $300 in the next year.

Hosts with the Most

Millennials entertain in their homes quite often. According to HFN's survey, they hosted friends and family in their homes a median of six times in the past year. Millennials in the Northeast surpass the overall median, entertaining 10 times last year. How ever, southern Millennials entertain the least often of all regions, with a median of five times. Male Millennials entertain more often than females, a median of eight as opposed to six.

Overall, 73 percent of Millennials typically host five or more people in their home when entertaining. That number is higher in the Midwest at 78 percent and the lowest in the Northeast at 69 percent. Younger Millennials, between the ages of 21 and 29, tend to host smaller groups than their older counterparts; 68 percent of younger Millennials host groups of five or more compared to 74 percent of Millennials ages 30 to 36.

The word that most Millennials use to best describe their entertaining styles is "fun." An overwhelming majority of Millennials hosted dinner at their homes last year, 86 percent. More than half of Millennials hosted a cocktails or drinks event at their homes and 46 percent hosted lunch. More than four out of 10 often cook outside when hosting events and 1 3 percent always grill or cook outdoors.

Southern Millennials are the least likely to host exclusively indoors during the spring, with only 15 percent indicating that preference. That's significantly lower than all other regions and lower than the overall 22 percent. For all seasons, except winter, the majority of Millennials prefer to host both indoors and outdoors with 78 percent of them hosting indoors during the coldest season.

About the Data

In June 2017, HFN sent an exclusive online survey to Millennial consumers between the ages of 21 and 36. The survey asked respondents about their preferences for shopping and buying home furnishings as well as entertaining at home.

The survey garnered results from 502 Millennials across the United States. Significance is reported at the 95 percent confidence level.

The research was conducted and analyzed by the Strategic Insights team at Progressive Business Media (PBM), HFN's parent company.

By Lauren Argetsinger
Where Millennials gather ideas when shopping for home furnishings

Pinterest                                       59%
Television shows, such as HGTV, DIY             53%
Home magazines                                  49%
A store or retailers brick-and-mortar location  47%
Retailer's/store's website                      47%
Generic online searches, such as Google         46%
Facebook                                        39%
Instagram                                       35%
Furniture brand/manufacturer websites           33%
Design blogs                                    29%
Houzz                                           17%
Twitter                                         11%
Online product videos                            9%
Other (*)                                        4%

(*) INCLUDES FRIENDS AND YOUTUBE


TOP WORDS MILLENNIALS USE TO DESCRIBE THEIR ENTERTAINING STYLE

#1 Fun
Favorite home furnishings retailers

MIDWEST    1. Ikea    2. Target      3. Amazon
NORTHEAST  1. Ikea    2. Home Depot  3. Home Goods
SOUTH      1. Ikea    2. Target      3. Ashley
WEST       1. Ikea    2. Target      3. Amazon

Importance of salespeople when shopping for home products

% of Millennials who say salespeople are important or very important

Mattresses  42%
Furniture   29%
Lighting    16%
Accents     16%
Linens      16%

Note: Table made from graph.

How Millennials prefer to see products displayed in a store

% of Millennials

                         YOUNGER       OLDER
                         MILLENNIALS   MILLENNIALS
                         (AGES 21-29)  (AGES 30-36)

By product category/     53%           42%
department
The way furniture would  47%           58%
look in my home

(*) SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER THAN YOUNGER MILLENNIALS
(**) SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER THAN OLDER MILLENNIALS

Note: Table made from graph.

Do Millennials need to touch, feel and see home products before buying?

                    FURNITURE  MATTRESSES  ACCENTS (*)  LIGHTING  LINENS

I absolutely
need to              63%        77%         27%        22%       45%
I may, it depends    27%        15%         37%        32%       32%
I don't need to
at all               10%         8%         36%        46%       23%

(*) AREA RUGS, WALL DECOR, ETC.

Note: Table made from pie chart.

Retailer apps are used for

Access to special sales/promotions/coupons  84%
Buying products                             80%
Loyalty program participation               58%
Customer service                            34%
Social media engagement                     25%
Other*                                       2%

* INCLUDES BROWSING AND CUSTOMER REVIEWS

The median amount spent on home furnishings in the last 12 months

                          YOUNGER       OLDER
                          MILLENNIALS   MILLENNIALS
                          (ages 21-29)  (ages 30-36)

Indoor home furnishings   $550          $600
Outdoor home furnishings  $200          $200

The median amount Millennials plan to spend in the next 12 months

                          YOUNGER       OLDER
                          MILLENNIALS   MILLENNIALS
                          (ages 21-29)  (ages 30-36)

Indoor home furnishings   $700          $500
Outdoor home furnishings  $300          $300

SOURCE: PBM STRATEGIC INSIGHTS, JUNE 2017 HOME FURNISHINGS NEWS STUDY


TOP WORDS MILLENNIALS USE TO DESCRIBE THEIR ENTERTAINING STYLE

#2 Casual
Events/services that make it more likely for Millennials to shop/buy
from a home furnishings store
                                        MALES  FEMALES

Sales and special promotions            74%    78%
Offering delivery                       78%    77%
Carrying affordable products            65%    62%
Offering a broad selection              52%    52%
Offering in-house set up/placement      44%    48%
Offering the latest styles/designs      42%    39%
Offering customer service/sales help    35%    34%
Providing design services               29%    27%
Preferred customer sales                26%    26%
Design workshops/seminars               28%    19%
Hosting parties/gatherings/open houses  19%    13%
Having celebrity/designer appearances   11%     8%
Other (*)                                1%     1%

(*) INCLUDES FLOOR SAMPLE SALES AND ANTIQUE FURNISHINGS


TOP WORDS MILLENNIALS USE TO DESCRIBE THEIR ENTERTAINING STYLE

#3 Relaxed
Portion of home furnishings purchases made in-store versus online

% of Millennials buying in the last year

          MALES  FEMALES

Online    40%    30%
In-store  60%    70%

SOURCE: PBM STRATEGIC INSIGHTS, JUNE 2017 HOME FURNISHINGS NEWS STUDY

Note: Table made from graph.

Millennial use of smartphones to shop for home furnishings % using a
smartphone when shopping for

           FURNITURE  MATTRESSES  ACCENTS (*)  LIGHTING  LINENS

Never      20%        42%         18%          20%        19%
Sometimes  57%        39%         58%          56%        61%
Always     23%        19%         24%          24%        20%

(*) AREA RUGS, WALL DECOR, ETC.

Note: Table made from pie chart.

Millennial use of retailer apps

% of Millennials living in the

            MIDWEST  NORTHEAST  SOUTH  WEST

Use         56%      47%        44%    45%
Do not Use  44%      53%        56%    55%

(*) SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER THAN SOUTH
(**) SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER THAN MIDWEST

Note: Table made from map.

Events hosted within the last year

% of Millennials

                  MALES  FEMALES

Dinner            87%    85%
Cocktails/drinks  54%    50%
Lunch             44%    47%
Themed parties    40%    39%
Brunch            31%    30%
Dessert           31%    28%
Hors d'oeuvres    29%    24%
Breakfast         17%    23%
Other (*)          4%     9%

(*) Includes game night, sports, and unable to host


TOP WORDS MILLENNIALS USE TO DESCRIBE THEIR ENTERTAINING STYLE

#4 Food
The number of people Millennials host

% of Millennials that typically host 5 or more people

South      73%
Midwest    78%
West       70%
Northeast  69%

Note: Table made from Graph.

Where Millennials host by season

% of Millennials

        INDOORS  OUTDOORS  BOTH

Winter  78%       3%       19%
Spring  22%      16%       62%
Summer  18%      28%       54%
Fall    29%      12%       59%

SOURCE: PBM STRATEGIC INSIGHTS, JUNE 2017 HOME FURNISHINGS NEWS STUDY

How often
Millennials cook/grill
out when
entertaining
at home

Always     13%
Often      46%
Sometimes  30%
Never      11%

SOURCE: PBM STRATEGIC INSIGHTS, JUNE 2017 HOME FURNISHINGS NEWS STUDY

Note: Table made from Graph.


TOP WORDS MILLENNIALS USE TO DESCRIBE THEIR ENTERTAINING STYLE

#5 Laidback
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:news & analysis
Author:Argetsinger, Lauren
Publication:HFN Home Furnishings News
Article Type:Cover story
Date:Aug 1, 2017
Words:1727
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