Millennials, individuals between 12 and 35 years old, represent the largest shopping group since the boomers. Their purchasing power is estimated to be at $170 billion according to comScore. In addition to being a powerful consumer segment, millennials have unique values, digital fluencies, and perspectives on shopping that should be incorporated into any targeted marketing strategy. The following are some of the most significant facts we could aggregate for your 2012 marketing strategy.
Shopping as an Experience
More than any other generation, Millennials view shopping as a experience rather than a necessity. They are more interested in retailers that can provide a social and interactive process than a simple in and out purchase.
- Practical decisions drive choice of retailers for 80% of Boomers, compared to 50% of Millennials ( Brodeur Partners)
- Sharability of retail experiences is twice as important to Gen Y as to Boomers (Brodeur Partners)
- Sensory appeal and the ability of a retailer to “make me smile” are one-third more important to Gen Y than to Boomers (Brodeur Partners)
It’s probably not a surprise that Millennials are highly connected digitally. The extent of their digital fluency however is substantial. This characteristic creates both opportunities and consequences for any marketing program. Today’s millennial shopper is comparing prices in real time, sharing what they’ve purchased online and expects each interaction across channels to be seamlessly integrated.
- 77% of affluent Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 and 80% between the ages of 25 and 34 own smartphones (Business Insider)
- 33% of tablet owners are between the ages of 18 and 34 (Nielsen)
- Half of bloggers are between the ages of 18 and 34 (Nielsen)
- 60% of Millennials produce and upload online content, including photos, videos, wiki entries, blog posts, micro-blog posts and product/service reviews, compared to 29% of non-millennials (Barkley).
Millennials have grown up in an age of cause related marketing and corporate social responsibility. Their expectations of businesses are more complex and socially driven than that of previous generations. They largely see businesses as having a cultural role and core responsibility to the community around them. They respect companies that take on a social issue and expect that businesses do no harm.
- 14% of U.S. Millennials were born outside the U.S., and 11% of those born in the U.S. have at least 1 immigrant parent (Urban Institute)
- Among Millennials, 86% regard business as having ‘about the same” or “more potential than governments” to meet society’s challenges (Deloite)
- 52% of Millennials think business will achieve the greatest impact on solving society’s biggest challenges as opposed to 35% of business leaders. (Deloite)
- 18-24 year olds are most amenable to being targeted – as frequently as once a week or more (31%) (Upstream Systems)
Millennials’ perspectives evolved in a time of rapid change and advances in technology. As they continue to mature in the workforce and represent a greater percentage of the consumer market, understanding the undertones that have shaped their attitudes and behaviors will be even more important. You can stay up-to-date on the latest research on millennials and the smaller age groups within the segment by subscribing to Factbrowser’s targeted feed at: