Carefully Crafted on November 15

Millennial Shoppers and Online Marketplaces [Infographic]

While eBay set the standard for digital marketplaces, many of today’s most interesting and innovative companies are working on building the next iteration of ecommerce. Lots of buzzwords floating around to describe these online destinations — including peer-to-peer marketplaces and recommerce. Call them what you will, but keep this in mind:  Not all marketplaces are created equal, just as all target audiences aren’t created equal.

Let’s look at two fashion “recommerce” sites launching today: Vaunte and Forewillow. The former is only open to a very select group of the population: “editors, designers and well-born New Yorkers.” Meanwhile, my client Forewillow is serving today’s fast-fashion market, namely “today’s college students and young professionals who have clothes and accessories they’ve worn, but not worn out.” With such different products and audiences, the way these two marketplaces are built and promoted will be totally different. Many of today’s emerging online marketplaces, such as Zaarly, Etsy and AirBnb, need early adoption from Gen Y to succeed.

Often, marketers’ natural instinct is to rely on social media to reach this “alaways on, always connected” audience. But, did you know that nearly half of Millennials say word-of-mouth has the greatest impact on their purchasing decisions? My friends at UQ Marketing — a firm specializing in helping brands building campus brand ambassadors — recently conducted a survey that reinforces this point:

There is no substitute for word of mouth, especially within the networks of college campuses. UQ Marketing recently conducted a nationwide survey that showed that 94.6 percent of collegians prefer to share experiences and opinions about products they love in person rather than via text or social media. In another recent study, conducted by Barnes & Noble, 59 percent of collegiate respondents reported that friends have the biggest influence on their purchasing decisions, both online and off.

That’s just the beginning though. What else do you need to know about millennials’ shopping habits? As it would so happen, I have this handy infographic to share. What stats do you find most interesting?

Forewillow millennial shoppers infographic
(As I mentioned, Forewillow is a client of mine; however, they did not ask me to write this post. I’m just sharing because I think it’s interesting information for PR and marketing people to know about. That said, if you’re into fashion, head over to and check out the site where trend sellers meet trend setters. What could be better?! Let me know what you think!)

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