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Generation inflation: what millennials really want from retail

Millennials aged 26 to 39 are more likely to describe themselves as price-conscious (41%) and good at managing their money (37%) compared to other generations. However, even though they strive to have a handle on their finances, they admit to making quick decisions (35%) and are the generation most likely to buy products at full price. 

This impulsivity extends to their investments in riskier assets, with the number of millennials investing in cryptocurrency growing by a staggering 65% since 2019. 

So finds the latest global report on ‘what matters most’ to millennials, showing a generation that has a unique attitude to finance and investments, from audience insights company GWI.

As well as being financially-conscious, millennials are a health-conscious generation. Over two-thirds say they exercise regularly and the number of millennials eating fast food is falling steadily. The data also indicates a self-conscious generation, with just 39% saying they’re happy with the way they look and a third of women reporting they scrutinize their appearance a lot, compared to 28% of Gen Z women. 

Jason Mander, Chief Research Officer at GWI says: “Although millennials span a varied age group – 13 years from people ages 26-39 – it’s a generation that’s come of age at a time of huge change and major global events. The ‘Great Recession’ of 2008, the COVID-19 pandemic, and most recently the cost of living crisis have all had a profound effect on their lifestyles, specifically their buying and saving behaviours.”

“What’s important for brands to keep in mind is that this is a generation that’s been exposed to a turbulent financial landscape. And the turbulence isn’t over yet. It’s clear that this is a generation with an awareness of their responsibilities, but they still want to enjoy life, look after themselves, and take some risks when it comes to investments.” 

The data also revealed the shifts in millennials’ online usage patterns. As COVID-19 changed many people’s

 media habits around the world, millennials followed a similar path. Between 2019 and Q2 2020, millennials spent more time streaming music, playing video games, and watching online TV. However, by Q1 2022, many of their media habits had returned to pre-pandemic levels, with their screen time decreasing. 

A shift in commitments might be influencing the amount of time they’re spending online. As of Q1 2022, 62% of millennials are now parents, while since 2020, the number of those working in management and senior roles has grown by 20%. As millennials mature and take on additional responsibilities, this is likely to come at a cost, as they make time for other priorities.

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