Martin Shaw, InternetRetailing head of research, on a collaboration with Hitwise to explore which Top100 websites are most visited by millennial customers
Amazon ??, eBay ?? and Argos ?? are winning the battle for customer attention across age groups. The three websites won 63% of visit share among Top100 websites during September and October 2017. More than 30% of the online population visited each of the three retailer’s websites over that time. The popularity of the top websites remained broadly similar from younger to older millennials, according to research carried out in collaboration with consumer intelligence specialist Hitwise (see tables). The study looked at which Top100 retailers, the top fifth of the IRUK Top500 cohort, win a greater share of visits and have a greater reach among two distinct groups: 18 to 24-year-olds, or younger millennials, and 25 to 34-year-olds, or older millennials. The study covered the nine weeks to 28 October – broadly, September and October 2017.
Lisa Luu, manager of innovation and insights at Hitwise ??, says the study reveals the dominance of Amazon and eBay across the two age groups. Across all age groups, more than seven in 10 people (75%) visited the Amazon website in September and October. Amazon had a 43.6% share of online visits, and a reach of 77.8% among younger millennials (aged 18 to 24). That remained broadly similar among older millennials (aged 25 to 34), where Amazon had a visit share of 43.3% and a reach of 76.1%. Reach measures consumers that a retailer had any contact with, while visit share reveals more interaction such as repeated visits from individual consumers. These figures are given as percentages of the total number of consumers reached by the Top100 and the total number of visits received by the Top100 over the period.
eBay.co.uk followed Amazon with a 14.4% share of visits in the younger millennial age group, and a reach of 62.1%, while among older millennials it had a 15.3% share of visits, and a 61.1% reach. Next-placed Argos had a 3.8% share of visits from younger millennials, with 34.3% having visited its website during the period, and a 3.9% share of visits from older millennials, among whom its reach was 33.3%. The top five was completed by Asos ?? and Apple ?? for both demographic groups, while the top 10 also included John Lewis ??, Next ??, Office ??, Marks & Spencer ?? and eBay’s US site, eBay.com for both groups.
These Top10 retailers broadly sell general merchandise including clothing, shoes and homewares. But looking beyond the Top10 to the broader IRUK Top100 retailers, it’s also notable that fast-fashion brands have a higher reach among younger millennials. Members of the 18 to 24-year-old group are 31% more likely to visit the Topman ??site than 25 to 34-year-olds, and 25% more likely to visit the Topshop ?? site. They are also 21% more likely to visit H&M ??, 31% more likely to visit Foot Asylum ??, and 37% more likely to visit Moss Bros ?? also drew higher reach among younger millennials than older (23% more likely). Selfridges is potentially attracting an aspirational audience and looking to grow their loyalty over time.” Young millennial shoppers were also more than 52% more likely to visit Selfridges than the general online population.
Other retailers that are more likely to reach younger millennials than the online population include Wiggle (86% more likely), Topman (66%), Topshop (58%), and Office Shoes (53%). Retailers more likely to reach older millennials than the general online population include Miss Selfridge ?? (30% more likely), Topman and Topshop.com (both 27%), while those more likely to reach older millennials than younger millennials include American Golf ?? (15% more likely), Kaleidoscope ?? and Bathstore.com ?? (both 11% more likely).
The research went on to compare retailers’ share of visits this September and October with the same period last year (the nine weeks to October 29 2016), it found that Cotton Traders ?? was the fastest growing among younger millennials, with its visit share up by 286%, followed by Topps Tiles.co.uk ?? (+136%). Among older millennials the fastest-growing websites, in terms of visit share, were office.com (+79%), Majestic Wine ?? (+67%) and M&Co ?? (+55%). Luu points to a rising number of visits from younger millennials to home and garden specialist retailers. Topps Tiles saw its share of visits from 18 to 24-year-olds rise by 145%, Dunelm by 114%, Wickes by 95%, and Screwfix by 89%. Among older millennials, Dunelm ?? saw its share rise by 48% and Screwfix by 43%. But although home and garden retailers share their share of younger millennial visits rise faster than those from older millennials, DIY sites had a higher reach among older millennials. This group was 6% more likely than younger millennials to visit Screwfix ?? and 4% more likely to visit Wickes ??, Homebase ?? and the B&Q website, diy.com ??. It seems that shoppers who grew up visiting fashion websites are now happy to research and buy online from homewares websites as their lifestyles change.
“Interestingly, Selfridges drew higher reach among younger millennials than older. Selfridges is potentially attracting an aspirational audience and looking to grow their loyalty over time” Lisa Luu, Hitwise
That also seems to be the case as older millennials take charge of the grocery shop. Online supermarkets are seeing their share of visits from older millennials rise: Ocado ?? and Waitrose ?? have seen their share of visits from the 25 to 34-year-old age group rise by 45% and 43% respectively. Over time this research carried out in collaboration with Hitwise will focus on different age groups to find out where the differences, and the similarities, lie between online shoppers of varying ages.