Millennials (generally categorised as individuals born between 1982-2000) are poised to become the largest generation ever. This demographic recently surpassed boomers as the dominant age group in the U.S., with approximately 83.1 million people, according to a 2015 United States Census Bureau report[1]. Additionally, by 2020, they, along with their predecessors, Generation X, are expected to control more than half of all investable assets, or about $30 trillion US[2], according to PwC.

There’s no denying that this generation’s power, size and influence is becoming a major focus for businesses preparing for their eventual ascension into wealth, but grabbing their attention and loyalty is proving to be more challenging than ever.

Why? Millennials have grown up with technology around them, and it answers practically every need they have, from dating and dining to shopping and meditation. As this technology develops at breakneck speed, these young consumers are changing the way they operate at the same pace, meaning that brands not only need to keep up, but need to stay ahead of the curve. Number one on your list of concerns should be mobile operations, largely considered the new battleground for their business.

In fact:

– 87% of millennials have their smartphone close at hand 24/7 [3]
– 80% say reaching for it is the first thing they do in the morning [4]
– Smartphones are the dominant way millennials connect to the web, with “89% of them using the devices to connect, vs. 75% who use laptops, 45% who use tablets and 37% who use desktop computers.” [5]

Moreover, a study by the International Council of Shopping Centres found that 86% of millennials used a mobile device while shopping in stores, and of those who did so, 96% made a purchase with the retailer or at the store where they had used their phone. Of those who used a device while shopping in a store:

– 52% compared prices
– 40% checked availability/inventory
– 37% got digital discounts or coupons
– 33% read reviews/ratings [6]

Suffice it to say, millennials will soon be your biggest and, possibly, wealthiest customer base and they always have their phones ready to help them throughout their day. If you want their business, you must connect with them on their channel of choice, and this channel is mobile.

Check out our previous post ‘What’s the Deal with Millennials? We’re Not as Different as You Think’ to continue reading more about this subject here

[1]  Millennials Outnumber Baby Boomers and Are Far More Diverse, Census Bureau Report, June 25, 2015
[2] Strategy & PWC, “2016 Wealth Management Trends: A Revolution Both Loud and Quiet,” 2016.
[3] Zogby Analytics Millennial Study, June 2014
[4] Zogby Analytics Millennial Study, June 2014
[5] Gasca, Peter “8 Shopping Habits of Millennials All Retailers Need to Know About,” www.entrepreneur.com December 7, 2015.
[6] The ICSC Post­-Holiday Consumer Shopping Survey conducted by ORC International on behalf of ICSC from Dec. 27-28.