Shopping Trolley on laptop

Millennials: The most powerful consumers in the world

The millennial generation, often criticised for their over-reliance on technology as well as for their perceived differences in attitudes to both work and life, are now entering the most significant age range for economic activity – 22-37 years. On top of this, the millennial generation has outnumbered baby boomers worldwide for over 25 years. Statistics show that 86% of millennials are living in emerging and developing economies. Businesses must begin to structure their business to encompass the needs and wants of the millennial as they and generation Z move to the forefront of consumer economic power.

Businesses must disregard the stereotypes that burden the millennial generation

Strenuous research has been conducted to establish the various stereotypes attributed to millennials, but none have succeeded in accomplishing their goal. Many of the perceived stereotypes between generations have been deemed so small, they are concluded to be almost or entirely non-existent. Once businesses can see beyond these stereotypes, they can begin to target and tailor their business to the needs of this core market group instead of ignoring it.

Businesses must adapt to the needs of the millennial market to flourish

Technology, in most cases, has become second nature to the millennial generation. It is completely integrated with almost every facet of their lives. 62% of millennials say they feel more loyalty towards a business that engages with them on social media. Unfortunately, some businesses are still to make the jump to social platforms. As of December 2017, 67% of Irish businesses employing ten or more people were using Facebook. Whilst this figure is much higher than the EU average, in comparison to the fact that roughly 80% or more of millennials are on social platforms, it appears that a large percentage of businesses are yet to grasp the transformative power of online media.

Online shopping is now the go-to platform as E-commerce goes from strength to strength. Statistics on E-commerce in Ireland show that almost 40% of online shoppers in Ireland are millennials. Revenue from online sales are expected to amount to over €3.5 billion in Ireland this year with an average annual spend of €1,221.11 per person. The market opportunities are astounding but establishing an online presence in not an easy task and is not developed overnight due to larger and more established online competition.

My Advice: It is time to acknowledge that millennials are the economic powerhouse that will drive our businesses for the foreseeable future. We all need to tailor our businesses to suit their needs and establish a more consistent and improved presence online. Studies estimate that a millennials’ attention span is as short as 12 seconds and thus, you will need to put extra effort into the image of your company and ensuring that your brand stays at the forefront of their mind. A lot of work needs to be done by many businesses to cater for the millennial demographic, but change must take place.