The everyday shopping behaviour of millennial consumers relies more heavily on print than you might expect, according to the sixth annual 'RedPlum Purse String Survey' from Valassis, which aimed to identify the best ways for marketers to reach their customers. This article is copyright 2013 The Best Customer Guide.

With newspaper as their number one source for coupons and deals, promotion-sensitive Millennials are getting their savings the same way as all other consumers across age groups and income levels, with 51% indicating this print source is their first choice for savings.

The top five places that all respondents said they usually get their coupons and deals from are: newspapers, emails/coupon alerts, internet searches, direct mail, and retail circulars. For Millennials, however, in-store exceeds their use of retail circulars by 4percentage points, ranking in fifth place. From printed sources, Millennials 33% of their deals from the mail, 21% from retail circulars, and 20% from coupon books.

This doesn't mean that the digitally-charged, on-the-go generation is walking away from digital savings. In fact they are leading the digital trend, as 27% of Millennials indicated they were using increasing numbers of mobile coupons compared to 17% of other respondents.

Millennials are actually using their smartphones to a greater degree than the general population:

  • 45% access coupons in emails via their smartphone compared to 24% of all respondents;
  • 41% access coupon codes via their smartphone compared to 24% of all respondents;
  • 36% compare deals using their smart phone, compared to 20% of all respondents;
  • 32% use their smartphone to download coupons to a loyalty card, compared to 20% of all respondents.

"These results were not what you might expect based on what we know about Millennials," said Lisa Reynolds, Valassis' vice president of consumer engagement. "While they are heavy digital users, this group also embraces tried and true methods for savings, as much as any other age group. Promotion sensitive, they are a true testament to the use of savings from both print and digital sources."

When it comes to sharing, Millennials do so at the highest rate (90%) among all age groups. Top sharing channels include:

  1. Word of mouth: 71% compared to 56% of the general population;
  2. Social: 43% compared to 29% of the general population. Facebook is the main social channel of choice, accounting for 33% of this group's social sharing;
  3. Text messaging: 30% compared to 19% of the general population.