Millennials are a revolutionary bunch. Though like other generations, they’re frequently overlooked with stereotypes and biases, it’s hard to ignore the fact that they’re currently the largest generation in America and the very first to be considered true “digital natives”.
Millennials are unfortunately making less money, and managing more debt than pre-existing generations did only a little while ago. As such, it’s easy to see that millennial spending habits are informed by the lack of access they have to a significant budget. However, while millennials are frequently restricted by their budgetary constraints, it’s worth noting that they’re still making their mark on the world from a financial point of view.
Since the only way to truly understand millennials, is to look at their behaviours, let’s consider the most common ways millennials spend their cash.
Millennials and Smartphone Shopping
While millennials still visit stores to see products in person, they often use their smartphone for many purchasing behaviours, including accessing support from sales assistants. Studies show that 53% of millennials use their phone to look for discounts, while 84% use them for shopping assistance in store. Most millennials care about the interactions they have with their brands on social media, but brands should know that simply being “around” on social media isn’t enough. Companies need to focus on generating a positive buzz for their business.
Social Issues and Sustainability
Although the millennial generation is often more strapped for cash than most, that doesn’t stop them from being socially conscious. In fact, millennials will frequently spend more to do business with companies that support their own ethical beliefs. Second-hand stores are currently growing at a rate 20 times faster than all other retail operations.
According to a study by Nielson in 2015, millennials are the most likely to pay extra for a sustainable product or service. In other words, millennials care about your brand values. 72% will pay more to buy from a company they trust, while 70% will pay extra for a brand that promotes wellness. At the same time, 58% of millennials will buy more from an environmentally conscious brand, while 56% focus on socially conscious companies.
Experience Comes First
Another important thing to note about millennials is that they’re focused heavily on experiences over “stuff”. Millennials don’t care so much about material possessions like fancy cars and huge Blu-ray collections when they can use Uber and Netflix. For millennials, spending money is all about amassing experiences that they can share on social media. In fact, 55% say they’re spending more on live events than ever before, and 78% say they prefer spending money experiences instead of things. Additionally, 82% of millennials will participate in live events like festivals, concerts, and sports.
Keeping Up with The Millennials
Millennials are more influenced today by online peer recommendations and bloggers than ever before. This is a huge transformation from previous generations, who cared more about celebs and advertisements. Today, 62% of younger millennials would purchase items recommended by YouTubers, while 79% believe that attending live events is crucial to forming bonds.
Millennials care about forming relationships with companies, built on mutual respect and value. If you want to get ahead of the crowd, then you need to learn how to connect with your customers on a deeper level, and how to offer them experiences that are shareable, sustainable, and environmentally conscious.
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.