Millennial Gifting Habits Might Surprise You

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By Lauren Parker

What adjectives (fair or not) come to mind when you think of Millennials? Lazy? Selfish? How about thoughtful? And generous? And just-for-fun gift givers?  

A recent gifting behavior survey by gift-commerce company Loop Commerce uncovered that Millennial consumer are the more thoughtful generation when buying gifts for others. The results, which were just revealed during Shoptalk in Las Vegas, found that 42% of Millennials purchased gifts just for fun, versus 26% of Boomers or 36% of Generation X respondents.

Some other findings:

Millennials buy and give gifts with confidence
While 63% of Baby Boomers responded saying it is hard to choose the right gift, 58% of Millennials felt that same way. The fact that Millennials share all their desires on social media might make it easier to buy gifts.

 Millennials are more concerned about giving the right gifts
More than half (52%) of Millennial gift buyers worry that their gift won’t be liked. Other generations still care much about the thoughtfulness of their gifts, including 38% of Baby Boomers and 46% of Generation X respondents.

 Millennials don’t like traditional gift cards
Compared to other generations, Millennials don’t like having to resort to gift cards. Only 33% of Millennials purchase gift cards compared to 36% for Boomers and 39% for Generation X.

 Price tag isn’t everything
While 70% of both Boomers and Generation X said sales are more influential in their gift purchase decisions, 71% of Millennials said that uniqueness of a gift is paramount. 


Birthdays and other year-round gift-giving opportunities also ranked higher than traditional holiday gifting, which should be a wake-up call for retailers that tend to overly focus on the holidays. After all, there are hundreds of thousands of birthdays every single day.

“When we consider how often Millennials are shopping for others outside of the standard gifting holidays, we start to see the opportunity available to retailers willing to embrace this shopping behavior,” said Roy Erez, CEO of Loop Commerce.  

Consumers buy on average 20-22 gifts per year—with the vast majority (89%) buying gifts for birthdays versus 77% for holidays. Just-for-fun, casual and sometime impulse-driven gifts are purchased by more than a third of those surveyed, with baby showers and anniversaries gifting reported at 32% and 30% of respondents. Weddings, engagements, and graduations also ranked high.

“Our usage data shows that when it comes to shopping for others, Millennials are thoughtful, year-round gifters, and are the most likely to buy for others outside of the standard gifting occasions,” said Erez. “The data also shows that, while post-holiday gifting can sometimes be an afterthought for retailers, there’s a golden opportunity for brands to accommodate Millennials looking to shop for others all year round. By making it as easy as possible for an entire generation to send meaningful gifts online, retailers could capitalize on revenue they weren’t capturing before.”


Noor Nanda