Emotional Intelligence Needed To Guide Millennials’ Online Shopping

New research has revealed that younger generations, especially Millennials, tend to be influenced by emotional factors when shopping online to a greater extent than older consumers. The study from Klarna UK, titled Emotional eCommerce: Ups And Downs In The Online Experience, found that Millennials are more than 3X as likely as consumers aged 55+ to worry that they can’t afford their purchase at checkout.

The study highlighted that Millennials tend to experience higher levels of anxiety, impulsiveness and impatience than their older counterparts — 68% reported feeling excitement when adding items to their online shopping cart, compared to 24% for people over 55. Just over half (52%) of Millennials have concerns about whether they can afford the purchase, compared to only 16% of those over 55. 

Klarna UK’s research also debunked the myth that if an item is added to a shopping cart, it shows the consumer intends to purchase it. The study showed that:


  • 89% of Millennials use the basket as a tool to review costs;
  • More than three-quarters often use their basket as a wish list, compared with only 29% of those over 55; and
  • 74% admit to indulging in “buzz browsing” — adding items to a basket with no clear intention to buy.

These findings and the different ranges of emotion felt by Millennials, spotlight an opportunity for retailers to offer guidance throughout the purchase process, including “try before you buy” and payment plan options. 

“Our insight proves that the online customer journey is more complex than ever, with shoppers being driven by emotional factors,” said Luke Griffiths, UK General Manager for Klarna in a statement. “Retailers must develop emotional intelligence to deliver a positive online customer experience that smooths the highs and lows.”

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