Millennials are the largest adult population in America, previously held by baby boomers, making their spending habits over the holidays extremely important for marketers wishing to capture the wallets of this generation. The collective annual income of the roughly 1.8 billion millennials worldwide is more than 2.5 trillion dollars and is expected to exceed 4 trillion dollars by 2030. With the holiday season in full force, delving into the nuances of millennial mobile spending preferences can be lucrative for app developers.
In this blog, we'll explore why paying attention to millennial mobile spending habits over the holidays maximizes success and retention in today's competitive app market. Assessing the differences between the preferences of millennials and the rising spending power of the Gen Z’ers should shape the way marketers create their strategy going into the new year, especially if they are targeting the deep pockets of millennial buyers.
Millennials versus Gen Z: Differences in Spending Habits
Although Millennials and Gen Z are only a generation apart, their upbringing and spending habits are vastly different. Generation Z, born between 1996 and 2014, are the newest generation of shoppers. Having been raised as digital natives, their preferences skew more towards hyper-personalization, augmented reality and other cutting edge technology trends. Millennials, on the other hand, have slightly different criteria when it comes to their mobile spending preferences. This generation was born between 1980 and 1995 and is the largest living generation. They weren’t introduced to social media or digital communication until later in their teens or adulthood. Their sheer size and spending power makes them extremely important for marketers to study and cater towards.
Expectation for Personalization
Gen Z: Gen Z, in comparison to older generations, is more open to sharing personal information if it leads to a more personalized shopping experience. They may expect and appreciate highly tailored recommendations and content.
Millennials: While millennials appreciate personalized recommendations and targeted marketing, they place a higher emphasis on privacy. This generation is shaped by the experiences of witnessing the early days of the internet and are aware of the potential risks associated with sharing personal information online. Because of this, they are more likely to opt-out of data-sharing features if they feel their privacy is compromised.
However, millennials appreciate the benefits of personalized experiences such as tailored recommendations and content. It is important for app marketers to note that this group is keenly mindful of protecting their privacy. Making sure that personalized ads aren’t too intrusive will be integral in gaining the trust of this intelligent generation. Creating messaging that is clear in the ATT prompt is another way to ensure that millennials feel safe when using an app.
Preferred Shopping Platforms
Gen Z: Gen Z, a social media savvy generation, tends to favor mobile apps for their shopping needs. Over 32% of Gen Z transactions happen on a mobile device, which makes mobile marketing a highly impactful investment for brands. This generation is more likely to engage with newer platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok for product discovery and shopping inspiration.
Millennials: Millennials were early adopters of smartphones and embraced mobile shopping. They often use a mix of websites and mobile apps for shopping, with established platforms like Amazon, eBay, and traditional retailer apps. Apps from these favorite retailers are often favored by millennials as they provide exclusive deals and push notifications, enhancing the efficiency of their shopping endeavors. Web shopping, however, allows this group of shoppers to conduct in-depth research, compare prices across various platforms, and access a broader array of product reviews.
The combination of both platforms empowers this generation to make well-informed decisions, taking advantage of the user-friendly interfaces of apps while capitalizing on the comprehensive information available on the web. To encourage the shift from web to mobile, app marketers need to emphasize excellent user experience and mobile exclusive discounts and deals that streamline the shopping experience.
Social Media Influence
Gen Z: Social media plays a more central role in the shopping habits of Gen Z. More than half of all Gen Zers (58%) have made a purchase based on a recommendation from a social media influencer or content creator. They are more likely to make impulse purchases based on what they see on platforms like Instagram, where influencers and brands heavily promote products.
Millennials: While millennials use social media for product discovery and reviews, their purchasing decisions are not as heavily influenced by social media as Gen Z. Less than half of this group has been influenced to make a purchase based on social media. Millennials often rely on reviews and recommendations but may conduct more in-depth research before making a purchase. Creating a space for reviews and comparison on an app will make millennials more comfortable with going through with that final purchase decision.
Millennials 2023 Mobile Spending Trends
There are several trends that marketers need to consider when re-engaging the millennial audience. Their preference for subscriptions, loyalty programs and convenience and integral when creating an app marketing strategy to retain these high-spending consumers during the end of the year.
Embracing Subscription Services
Subscription services have found remarkable success among the millennial audience. Over 90% of millennials actively use a subscription service of some type. Subscription services streamline the shopping process and offer a curated selection of products or services to the consumer. For example, Spotify allows users to stream unlimited music for free with ads. By upgrading to a subscription plan, users can listen to music ad-free all day. They can also get tailored music, concerts and other recommendations by subscribing to this app.
By offering customized, value-added experiences and ensuring convenience, brands can build lasting relationships with millennials, fostering brand loyalty and recurring revenue streams. App marketers can re-engage users by offering discounted memberships over the holiday season and into the new year. This combination of convenience, personalization, budget-friendliness, and sustainability makes subscription services a natural fit for the millennial lifestyle, contributing to their widespread adoption and retention within this demographic.
In efforts to get the best deals, 67% of millennials are more likely to join and participate in brand loyalty programs compared to 2022. Additionally, over 60% of millennials would switch brands and change where they buy to get more loyalty rewards. Loyalty programs often tap into millennials' desire for cost-conscious and value-driven shopping experiences. The prospect of earning rewards, discounts, or exclusive perks fosters a sense of financial savvy and satisfaction. Moreover, millennials, who came of age during economic uncertainty, appreciate the tangible benefits that loyalty programs provide, allowing them to stretch their budgets without compromising on quality.
Beyond the financial aspect, these programs offer a sense of recognition and appreciation, meeting millennials' need for personalized and meaningful interactions with brands. The gamification elements often integrated into loyalty programs also appeal to the tech-savvy and competitive nature of this generation, making the shopping experience more engaging and enjoyable. Marketers can retain users by promoting the benefits of being a loyal customer, especially going into the new year. Overall, loyalty programs align with the values of thriftiness, personalization, and engagement that resonate strongly with millennials, fostering a sense of brand loyalty and advocacy.
Convenience Is Everything
Consumer expectations are shifting, and especially among millennials, and convenience is a huge factor in the brands they choose and whether or not they go through with purchases. Over 80% of millennials emphasize convenience as a top factor they consider when shopping. Many millennials are juggling jobs, families and other responsibilities, making a fast checkout and seamless interface paramount when evaluating mobile shopping options.
Millennials are the most likely to prefer online shopping, followed by Gen X. The timing flexibility and delivery or pickup options are what makes online shopping most convenient to these generations. To gain more millennial mobile shopping app users, marketers need to highlight that shopping apps enable consumers to shop anytime and anywhere and are a way to avoid long queues. The combination of instant access, optimized design, and personalized features makes shopping apps more convenient than traditional online shopping through web browsers, catering to the preferences and expectations of users, particularly in the fast-paced and mobile-centric lifestyles of today's millennial consumers.
Takeaways of Tips to Win Millennials this Holiday Season
Millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest adult population in America, making their spending habits over the holidays extremely important for marketers wishing to capture the wallets of this generation. With the holiday season in full force, delving into the nuances of millennial mobile spending preferences can create lucrative opportunities for app marketers.
Millennials 2023 Mobile Spending Trends
- Embracing Subscription Services: Subscription services have found remarkable success among the millennial audience. Over 90% of millennials actively use a subscription service of some type. By offering customized, value-added experiences and ensuring convenience, brands can build lasting relationships with millennials, fostering brand loyalty and recurring revenue streams.
- Loyalty: In efforts to get the best deals, 67% of millennials are more likely to join and participate in brand loyalty programs compared to 2022. Additionally, over 60% of millennials would switch brands and change where they buy to get more loyalty rewards.
- Convenience Is Everything: Over 80% of millennials emphasize convenience as a top factor they consider when shopping. Many millennials are juggling jobs, families and other responsibilities, making a fast checkout and seamless interface paramount when evaluating mobile shopping options.