READY TO SPEND ON ‘THINGS THAT MATTER’
Millennials make up nearly a quarter of the population and already spend about $220 billion per year in the U.S. Nielsen says they fascinate marketers and retailers—but that capturing Millennial dollars has proven challenging. In the U.S., this generation has different interests than their predecessors, and marketers and retailers must pay attention to the unique shopping habits of this young generation.
Millennials are young and optimistic about their financial futures. According to the Q2 Nielsen Consumer Confidence report, roughly 70% of Millennials indicate their personal finances will be either good or excellent in the next year. However, having gone through the Great Recession at a young age, they are caution about finances and 55% still feel like the U.S. is in an economic recession.
With limited money to spend, Millennials are savvy shoppers by necessity. Avid researchers, 42% of them check at least four sources when trying to decide on a purchase, according to Edelman Digital. About a third make purchases only when they have a coupon or promotional code. And roughly 40% buy previously used items online to save money.
While economic struggles are a reality for many Millennials, one subset is thriving. Roughly 27% of this generation qualifies as upscale Millennials, earning more than $75,000 per year. The median liquid wealth value (income producing assets; IPA) for upscale Millennials is $157,500, more than 11 times the median IPA of their generation as a whole. Despite having more money to spend, upscale Millennials are deal-lovers as well. Roughly 43% use coupons at least once month.
Despite their love of a deal, Nielsen says all Millennials are willing to spend on things that matter to them. As a generation defined by their use of technology, the majority of Millennials aren’t willing to delay upgrading their PCs or mobile devices to save money. And while Millennials are spending less on clothes to save money, 35% still make apparel purchases with their extra cash.
About 92% of Millennials own a smartphone, compared with 76% of Baby Boomers. Because technology is an integral part of their lives, it’s a key component of their shopping experience. Roughly 19% of Millennials and 31% of upscale Millennials spent over $1,000 online in the past year. The majority (66%) use the Internet to purchase hard-to-find items. Roughly 70% of upscale Millennials scour the Internet for hard-to-find items.