I’m a Millennial and this is How I Buy Things

Millennials are set to become the largest adult generation in history, outnumbering Generation X roughly 3 to 1.

Why does everyone care so much? Forbes recently reported that they’ve got buying power of $170 billion per year. In consumer dollars, that’s kind of a big deal.

Every consulting firm and their dog is writing a report on how millennials are different to their predecessors.  Millennials are so hot right now. Everyone wants to know how to sell to this cohort. I’m going to tell you how it’s done.

A still from what does the fox say

About millennials, from a millennial

I’m a millennial, I’m 30 years old, I’m female, married, no kids, and I love to spend money. I probably buy about twenty things online each week, in addition to my weekly online grocery shop. The types of things I buy online range from vitamin tablets, to ski boots, to French lessons, to insurance policies, and everything in-between. This is how you can clinch a sale with me, and with all those other millennials out there who you’re trying to flog your wares to:

  1. Convenience is essential. If you waste my time I will never come back to you. I have better things to waste my time doing online, such as watching What Does The Fox Say, again, for the sixth time on YouTube.
  2. Price matters, a lot. I can’t emphasise this enough. Millennials are Google natives. We Google everything, and we compare prices of everything. If I can buy the same product on Amazon for £2 cheaper I will, not only because it’s cheaper, but because Amazon haven’t annoyed me, yet.
  3. When I’m in the change room in a shop, I search online to see if I can buy it cheaper elsewhere, or if there are discount codes that I could use to buy it online. It’s well worth my time, it saves me a lot given how many purchases I make.
  4. I loved the Dollar Shave Club You Tube clip, but I never bought their product. I don’t buy stuff just because I saw it on YouTube and thought it was funny. If I did I’d be broke.
  5. I shop using my phone, anywhere and everywhere. On the bus, in bed on a Sunday morning, in the office waiting for a meeting. If I think of something I need, I’ll buy it whenever I have a spare moment. So your mobile site is important. I hate tedious checkouts on mobile sites, sites that remember my details from last time are my go-to favourites.
  6. I’m information hungry. I want to know all the facts about a product because returning stuff is a pain. I want to know the % sugar content of my breakfast cereal, and the size in cm of the salt and pepper shaker.
  7. Coupons are not cheap or embarrassing. I will happily clip them, save them and use them.
  8. My biggest barrier to online shopping right now is receiving the parcels that are delivered. Almost nothing fits through my mail box at home. If parcels are posted to my work sometimes they’re too big and bulky to take home with me on the tube. This is a pain. If you have a good click & collect service I will use it.
  9. I know that I can get my voice heard if I whinge load enough. If you really annoy me I will be really annoying to you on social media.
  10. I notice stuff everywhere, both online and off-line. I read tonnes of media and I’m switched on. I still read paper newspapers (especially when they’re free on the tube).
  11. Print media still works. I buy from H&M and ASOS almost every time they send me a catalogue because I like the pictures in the magazines they send me. I love reading the magazines in the seat pocket on airplanes. And I totally rip out the pages of things I like and buy them online later.
  12. I’m more likely to like a brand on Facebook if their Facebook content is to my liking; I know it’s going to come up all the time in my activity feed.
  13. If I have to like your Facebook page to get a discount code, I will unlike you again as quickly as you publish any content that I don’t like. But if you positively surprise me I’ll probably buy from you again.
  14. Criticism goes viral, but it won’t stop me from purchasing from you. If you handle it well I’ll respect you even more, and guess what, you just made me notice you. Everyone makes mistakes. But knowing how to say sorry properly counts for a lot.
  15. When I see a product that I want on some advert, I will google it, and then buy another brand if it’s cheaper, because price matters. So your advert just drove me to your competitor because your price wasn’t right. I mentioned that price matters, right? Cool, just wanted to reiterate that.

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Natalie Waterworth

Natalie Waterworth

Co-Founder, Talented Heads

Natalie the co-founder of Talented Heads, a digital agency specialising in the millennial generation. Natalie is a digital marketer, a blogger, a start-up enthusiast, and a millennial engagement expert. Over the past three years she has worked with and for a variety of technology start-ups in London’s vibrant Tech City, both as a co-founder and as a consultant.

Natalie advises corporates on how they can better use their digital strategy to communicate with millennial employees and millennial customers. She helps corporates to engage with this next generation of leaders and consumers through social media and the web.

March 6, 2014


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