Millennials are devious when it comes to e-commerce

More than a quarter of Millennials have faked their birthdays when signing up for a newsletter to get a discount

Everybody knows about Millennials' willingness to pay for loyalty rewards; but what marketers need to learn are Generation Y's sneaky tricks and tactics used to finagle deals in the e-commerce world.

On the wings of research from Mindshare North America, it's revealed that more than one-fourth (26%) of Millennials have faked their birthday when signing up for newsletters in an attempt to receive a discount. For the total adult population (respondents 18 years and older), that number dwindles to 17%. Also, when shopping online, 47% of Millennials (versus 37% of total adults) will intentionally leave items in a shopping cart in hopes of receiving a discount from the store.

Browsing histories aren't safe, either; 31% of Millennials (against 23% of total adults) clear their Internet history to keep flight fares down. And 39% of Millennials (31% of total adults) clear their Google search history to get the best price.

With regards to travel specifically, 61% of Millennials try to purchase tickets for trips on days when they believe prices are lower — compared to 48% of total adults. Furthermore, 22% of Millennials (and 15% of total adults) have consultants manage their frequent flyer miles.

Product-based purchases are where millennials' thriftiness really shines. Thirty-six percent of the demographic (against 24% of total adults) share an Amazon Prime account with friends for the purpose of capitalizing on free shipping. And 36% of millennials have multiple email addresses with one specifically for online shopping, with only 30% of total adults doing the same.

"Every day, consumers are growing savvier and savvier in their online shopping habits," says Joe Migliozzi, managing director, New York Office Digital and Shop+ Lead, Mindshare North America. "That's not necessarily a bad thing for retailers — it's a different kind of engagement. But brands do need to understand this shift in behavior and adapt their marketing plans in creative ways."

Patience is a virtue
Both demographics are willing to play chicken with brands to get a good deal — as about two-thirds of each will wait for an item to go on sale prior to making a purchase. Moreover, 39% of Millennials (as opposed to 30% of total adults) sign up for price-tracking services to receive an email when prices drop on desired items.

Seventy percent of millennials scour the Internet for promo codes prior to buying anything online, whereas only 59% of total adults do so. The downside to this is 64% of Millennials feel as though they're always waiting on buying what they want because they know it'll go on sale; for total adults, the number drops to 52%.

A card habit to break
Mindshare also looked at the relationship between credit cards, loyalty programs, and discounts, and found that 77% of women sign up for loyalty programs to get discounts, while 67% of men do the same.

In fact, men appear more interested in cashback and rewards from credit cards; nearly half (48%) of men say that they buy everything on their credit card to earn the reward points, versus 38% of women. In general, 46% of men (40% of women) have signed up for cashback offers on their bank/credit card to get money back for shopping at certain locations.

The research also showed what consumers don't love about the e-commerce world. More than half of millennials (58% against 49% of total adults) say their email is too cluttered with promotional items from stores where they've shopped. Also, 68% of Millennials say that after they've searched for a product it's annoying to see online ads for that product repeatedly; 64% of total adults concur.

This article first appeared on

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