Two Millennials in San Francisco

Millennials – Who are they?

Posted on Apr 14, 2017 · 3 min read

Recently, Piper Jaffray, a leading investment bank and asset management firm, took their annual survey on millennials, although one of the most shocking statistics showed the Starbucks had lost it’s No.1 spot for “favorite restaurant” to the fried-chicken chain, Chick-fil-A, there was a lot of other great information on teen spending habits. Here’s an overview of the findings:

  1. Food is the biggest expense – In years past, clothing was the biggest expense, but this year’s survey shows how this has changed. 24% of teens spend their money on food, 19% on clothes, 9% on cars, 9% on accessories and cosmetics, 8% on shoes, 8% on video games, 7% on electronics, and the rest is spent of music, movies, and events.
  2. Activewear is a favorite – Nike holds its spot at the top of the list for both top clothing brand and top footwear brand. The other top brands include American Eagle, Forever 21, lululemon, H&M, Patagonia, Vans, adidas, Converse, and Steven Madden. They also reported brands that they no longer wear including Aeropostale, Gap, Justice, and Hollister.
  3. Getting social – While Facebook, YouTube, Google +, Instagram, and Twitter are still among the top social media platforms used, teens’ favorite social media platform is by far Snapchat. 39% said their favorite was Snapchat, followed by Instagram (23%), Twitter (11%), Facebook (11%), and Pinterest (1%)
  4. What’s cable? – No longer are the days of just sitting on the couch to watch TV. The most popular trend among teens now is streaming. Netflix and YouTube own more than half of the daily video consumption from teens. In fact, teens have a seven times higher emotional attachment to YouTube stars over “traditional” celebs. Influencer marketing is more present now than ever.
  5. Online vs. in-store – Since fall 2013, an increasing number of teens prefer to shop online over going into a department. We continue to see a focus on ecommerce and online customer experience for this exact reason. Given that millennials are now the most populous consumer group today, digital retailing is a must.

With these findings, you may be wondering what your business can do to reach this mysterious and ever-changing market. Here’s a few tips:

Be direct. 95% of millennials want brands to woo them, and they will respond positively to coupons and other offers mailed to their homes or sent to their inboxes. 67% of college students want to learn about a company’s student discounts in their e-newsletter, and over half recommend adding a link to your student discount to your footer or on your homepage if you want to reach them.

Make it personal. Millennials are 44% more likely to opt out of communications from a brand that bombards them with generic, mass emails. On the other hand, companies that deliver personalized online experiences see their sales increase 19%. You can construct scalable campaigns with a personal feel by creating truly exclusive offers and recognition events, segmenting your lists, building relevant landing pages, and taking a targeted approach to advertising.

Make mobile optimization a priority. 83% of college students have smart phones, and 61% of millennials claim they could not live without their cell phones. They use their phones to search for products, check pricing, look for coupon codes, read reviews, and complete transactions. One in five will make a purchase on their phones during the back-to-school shopping season, and an even higher percentage will shop on their tablets.

If you’re looking to reach the millennial market, see how SheerID can help. We happen to know a lot about students and what they want. Contact [email protected] today.

Madeline Boehmer by Madeline Boehmer