Millennials, an estimated 86 million within the US today, represent the country’s largest demographic, and account for approximately $600 billion in annual spending. Born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, they’re often characterized as narcissistic, lazy, and the ‘me’ generation, but they are also regarded as one of the most charitable, optimistic, and may be the foremost spendthrift generation.
Their tendency to spend freely on themselves also extends to the family, more specifically to their moms. Mother’s Day, the second largest consumer spending holiday in the US, generated an estimated $20.7 billion in 2013. A 2013 Mother’s Day consumer spending survey conducted by the National Retail Federation broke down consumer spending trends by age. The results showed an overwhelming spending trend within the millennial demographic – 25-34 year olds were declared the highest spending ($226), seconded by 18-24 year olds ($210).
Some millennial consumer trends to think about:
- 45 % of millennials spend 1 hour or more each day browsing retail sites [eMarketer]
- 76% of millennials own a smartphone, 73 percent own a laptop and 68 percent own a game console [Nielsen]
- 41% of millennials have made a purchase using their smartphone [Edelman Digital]
- 77% of millennials participate in loyalty and reward programs [Aimia]
- 32% of millennials say they don’t like advertising in general, compared to 37% of the general population [Experian Simmons]
Though burdened by high unemployment rates (16.1 %), financially strapped millennials will continue to spend. Larissa Faw of Forbes notes; ‘Millennial lifestyles and spending habits do not reflect their financial realities’. This ease of spending may stem from the fact that millennials are accustomed to living a truly digital lifestyle and online shopping has provided both convenience as well as unlimited discount opportunities.
As millennial spending is set to grow to $1.4 trillion annually and will represent 30% of total retail sales by 2020 [Time] , retailers will be faced with the task of creating a customer experience, both online and offline, that is relevant to the inherently Google-savvy and tech driven millennial consumer.