Purchase Behavior of Millennials

Posted on Mon Aug 6, 2018.

Last week on our blog we covered the purchase behavior of Generation Z. As we move to the next oldest generation, Millennials, you will see many similarities to Generation Z due to growing up with digital influences as well.

Purchase Behavior of Millennials

The Millennial generation was aptly named due to the fact they would be coming of age at the beginning of the millennium. The age range varies depending on the publication but the general consensus is dates from 1985-2000.  Millennials have also been referred to as Generation Y or Generation Me.

This generation has a new unique trait, that Generation Z will also be developing in the next few years, large amounts of student debt. Over 61% of Millennials have attended at least some college.

With this large amount of debt and the job market being highly competitive for entry-level positions, Millennials have embraced the idea of the side hustle. The side hustle is an extra way to make income. Ridesharing companies, late night bartender, wait staff, etc. are all job descriptions that Millennials may have as well as a full-time job.

Other Millennials have taken the opportunity they see in an empty market to strike out on their own as entrepreneurs. Small businesses and startups are popping up all over the nation, with some even being an international network of people thanks to worldwide internet capabilities.

Some have even embraced a so called Digital Nomad lifestyle, working on the go as they travel around the world.

Millennials rely heavily on the internet for their choices like Generation Z. However they still use traditional Google search features more than their counterparts.

The use of smartphones and tablets is almost at the 100% mark for Millennials in the US. Making quick purchases on their phones is on the rise and some use applications that allow them to store their credit cards on their phone (i.e Samsung or Apple Pay).

They are typically well informed of current events and read the news via applications as well. A majority of this generation’s views skew towards the liberal end on politics and social issues. Following liberal or conservative news outlets (i.e Huffington Post, Drudge Report) is not uncommon and having confirmation bias based upon their news gathering tendencies is very common.

Like Generation Z, products that are affordable, friendly to the environment, not tested on animals are valued most. Fandom based products that display their favorite character or a funny quote are also popular. Highly influenced by nostalgia due to resurgences of 90s pop culture, with multiple reboots within both the product and entertainment industries.

Consuming new types of media and early adoption of new technologies are high due to the constant striving for having the most groundbreaking and innovative computers, gaming consoles, tablets, and smartphones.

Growing up in the digital breakthrough has made video games and apps a part of their daily media intake. A large amount of advertisers have caught onto this behavior and routinely purchase ad space on popular apps within the Apple App Store or the Google Play store.

They also consume a large majority of their tv and movies through internet streaming services. Traditional cable and satellite providers have been shunned due to the high prices and little to no customer service.

Every device is used to consume videos. Meaning their phones, tablets, TVs, computers, and even gaming consoles are ways to reach them.

Millennials prefer to have a relationship built through social media with a brand before making purchases. Emotional connections give them a positive perception before buying from a company. Reviews on items or brands are perused before making their final purchases.

When marketing to millennials there are many ways to reach them. With media being consumed all day everyday through social media, apps, YouTube, and streaming, it is hard to choose what channel to focus your efforts on. Finding where your target market in the industry you are in is gathering is the easiest way to start your strategy.


If you are interested in reaching Millennials through a comprehensive branding strategy, please Contact Us. For more information on the services we can provide visit What We Do.

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