Shopping Report: 3 Biggest Holiday Trends for Young Adults

Last Updated Oct 21, 2010 6:11 PM EDT

The National Retail Federation recently surveyed all age groups on their spending plans this holiday season. Among the results there were some interesting revelations about the shopping habits of young adult. Here are the highlights:

Your Smartphone Is Your Buddy

The NRF says one in four shoppers â€" mostly young adults - with an iPhone or other smartphone will use their device to shop for gifts, comparison shop and research products. Shopping applications like Coupon Sherpa, Amazon Mobile, Shop Savvy, Red Laser and Compare Everywhere are some of my own faves.

You're Most Likely to Buy a Gift For Yourself

Talk about Generation Me: NRF finds young adults are the age group most likely to make "non-gift" purchases for themselves (69.4% of young adults vs. 57.1% average).


If you must shop for yourself first, just remember that experiences from leisure and travel are what researchers say are one of the few real purchases that can make us happy. Taking a yoga class or spending the day with friends is money well spent ... and a nice stress reliever around the holidays.

Customer Service Matters

This is my favorite highlight: Young adults are twice as likely as other adults (10.3% vs. 5.3%) to say that customer service is the most important factor when making a purchase. That's smart. Retailers are in no position to disappoint shoppers this year, so if you don't feel like you're getting good service, know there plenty of other places you can spend your money - at the mall, downtown or online. And always ask for a discount, while you're at it.

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    Farnoosh Torabi is a personal finance journalist and commentator. She is the author of the new book Psych Yourself Rich, Get the Mindset and Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life. Follow her at www.farnoosh.tv and on Twitter at @farnoosh.

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