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How to Cater for The Unique Needs of Generation Y

What the youngest and largest generation of consumers are looking for in a subscription service and how to ensure optimisation for this unique demographic.

Generation Y, or millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, now make up the largest age group in the U.S., adding 600 billion dollars to the economy each year. Often referred to as narcissistic, lazy and entitled, they were dubbed the ‘Me Me Me Generation’ by Time Magazine, citing their materialism and obsession with technology. Lazy or not, they are certainly earning, and spending, with 28% of per-person consumer spending attributed to Gen Y daily, a number predicted to rise by a further eight percentage points by 2030 in a recent Forbes article.

Cliché though it may be, it seems that technology obsessed Gen Y really are always plugged into their mobile devices, with UPS’ Pulse of the Online Shopper report finding that 54% of millennials’ purchases were made online last year, with 63% of them reporting making purchases on a smartphone.

Although often spoken of as one large group, there are differences in the ways ‘older’ members of Gen Y, are making purchases, with a report from Vatniv (featured in PYMNTS.com) stating that those aged 32-35 are most likely to make purchases on a smartphone.

Vatniv also reports that across all age brackets, members of Gen Y are flexible not only in how they make purchases, but who they purchase from, with two-thirds saying they would be prepared to switch brands if they were given a 30% discount.

As we wrote about it recently, 91% of millennials have a service subscription to watch content online. Given the digital-savviness of Gen Y, it should come as no surprise that at least 70% of them report having at least one product subscription as well, according to the PYMNTS.com article. This marks a significant rise on previous generations, with 44% of Generation X, 19% of baby boomers and only 17% or retirees having a product subscription.

It seems that Gen Y have unique needs and that to cater for them, flexibility and convenience are key. Given the prevalence of online purchasing and shopping on a mobile device, a mobile optimised checkout process is essential. Services such as Paypal checkout and Apple Pay are crucial in order to serve a generation of whom 63% do not own a credit card, according to the First Data report.

Amongst Gen Y, debit cards reign supreme, meaning that good communication throughout the payment process is imperative, particularly when any problems arise, through a replaced card for example.

Understanding the requirements of customers, regardless of whether they belong to Gen X, Y or Z is the first step towards catering for their unique needs and creating customers that return again, whether they do so through a smartphone app, on a tablet or sitting at a computer.

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