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The Spending Habits of Millennials: Trends, Attitudes and Research

For years now, reaching Millennials has been a major priority for marketers. Despite their lower earning power relative to other generations, marketing to them has been attractive due to a handful of factors, including their sheer size and magnitude. In 2016, Millennials surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation according to the Pew Research Center.

eMarketer took a closer look at Millennial spending habits in their latest report on the cohort. Here are a handful of key takeaways from their research.

Millennials are making more money, but their financial situations are still fragile.

The average of income of a Millennial before taxes is $65,373 according to the latest figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s a number that still is lower than the average for total households ($74,664), but significant nonetheless.

Millennials are earning more, but in most cases find themselves stifled by debt. Student loans are one of the biggest culprits. According to a January 2017 survey by PwC, 40 percent of respondents ages 21 to 35 stated they still owed money toward their education. Credit card debt has also impeded Millennials spending prowess. In a poll of US internet users ages 18 to 34, Forrester Consulting found that respondents owed an average of $3,864 on credit cards.

Homeownership by Millennials is significant and growing.

Millennials have a reputation for being perpetual renters, but it’s a notion worth challenging. More than one-third of American adults under the age of 35 are homeowners according to 2017 US Census Data.

Bank of the West/BNP Paribas found that 43 percent of respondents ages 21 to 34 were likely to own a home. Narrowing the data even further, their survey also discovered that those ages 28 to 34 were two times as likely as those ages 21 to 27 to own a home.

Millennials are heavily influenced by online reviews.

With lower earning power relative to other established generations, Millennials are pickier buyers. Their spending decisions are heavily influenced by the opinions of others.

In a May 2017 YouGov survey of US internet users, 40 percent of people ages 18 to 34 said they always check reviews before buying and 43 percent stated that they sometimes do. Performics and Northwestern University’s Intent Lab discovered similar findings. Their research found that 81 percent of 18 to 35 year olds said they rely on online customer ratings when making purchasing decisions.

Are the findings any different when comparing Millennial men and women? Data from Simmons Research says that they are. According to their findings, 51.5 percent of Millennial women stated that they are influenced by reviews from other consumers. In comparison, 33.5 percent of Millennial men said the same.

Millennials are enticed to spend by bargains and deals.

Offer a Millennial additional value in a product and the more likely they’ll buy it. They are a generation that heavily prioritizes finding a great bargain over many other factors.

CouponFollow conducted a poll of adults ages 20 to 35 in May 2017 and discovered that deal-hunting topped the list of influences in millennials’ purchasing processes. Their research discovered that 79 percent of respondents “are ‘greatly impacted’ by finding deals and saving money”.

This factor topped “fast and simple checkout” (37 percent) and “product personalization” (11 percent). Free shipping was also discovered to be a major influence for Millennials, with 67 percent of respondents greatly impacted by it.

When it comes to reaching Millennials, are you looking to upgrade your strategy? Contact Awlogy Media Group for assistance today.

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