According to the media, Millennials (people born between 1982 and 2000) are “killing off” countless industries. From chains like Applebee’s to the entire napkins industry, it’s becoming quite common for once-thriving businesses and industries to struggle to appeal to Millennials whose preferences are dramatically different from those of the former generations. Since the times of the Great Recession, Millennials seem to have become more interested in financial stability, smarter spending, and in pursuit of greater financial literacy. This, coupled with new technologies, has undoubtedly shifted the mindset of the modern consumer — and in order for companies to survive and prosper in the new era, it’s imperative to understand the following trends in Millennials’ spending and investing behavior.
Millennials are mobile-first shoppers
eMarketer estimates that a whopping 94.2% of Millennials will be smartphone users in 2019. This presents a huge opportunity for companies looking to reach new prospects through mobile sites and apps as well as a huge obstacle for those who don’t. As much as 84.8% of Millennials will be digital buyers this year, giving businesses a major incentive to provide online users and shoppers with an optimized mobile interface and a user-friendly app, equipped with the full functionality of their desktop websites.
Millennials are money-savvy
Despite embodying a market worth $600 billion per year, Millennials spend two thirds less than Generation Xers and Baby Boomers. Much of this is likely due to the heavy debt burden most face. In fact, Millennials carry over $1 trillion in student loan debt alone, and over half are worried about defaulting on a loan within the next twelve months. In lieu of this, it’s easy to see why being cautious about spending and saving are among the top concerns on the minds of Millennials. Fortunately, there are already businesses fulfilling those needs. For example, Chime, is an online banking company that allows account holders to round up purchases and portions of their paychecks to a savings account automatically. Another example is Mint, a company that helps Millennials manage their finances by creating a personal budget based on users’ bank accounts, credit cards, and even their brokerage and retirement savings accounts. When used in conjunction, these tools can help alleviate much of the fear of mismanaging finances, by automating processes users would otherwise have to do manually and spend lots of time to understand. This creates an additional opportunity for businesses to serve as educators.
Millennials are curious about finance
It’s only natural that one would seek to become more financially adept in order to cope with their financial hurdles. However, among the overall population, Millennials maintain the lowest level of financial literacy among the overall population, with only 24% having basic financial skills and only 8% demonstrating high financial proficiency. But that doesn’t mean Millennials aren’t trying. In his article on Forbes, author Deep Patel acknowledges the growing trend of Millennials turning to apps for financial clarity, citing billions of dollars invested in financial tech startups in recent years and the emergence of key players looking to provide financial solutions. SprinkleBit is a part of this trend, helping its users get a better understanding of the market landscape, and a firmer grasp on their investment opportunities.
Millennials want to invest wisely
The fear of investing is strong in Generation Y. A 2019 study by Visual Capitalist showed only 18% of young investors saying they have confidence in their own investment savvy. The same study found that 83.0% of young investors rely on online research as a key tool for choosing stocks. With that, 70.2% of Millennials prefer to get financial advice from human experts over AI-driven investment services. Fortunately, SprinkleBit is here to help. The service combines the power of crowdsourcing with sophisticated value prediction algorithms, allowing its users to connect with each other, keep track of the latest market news and watch experts trade. SprinkleBit is designed specifically to help people learn everything there is to know about making great investments without spending any of their hard-earned cash — and this is a huge relief, especially considering that two of the most cited reasons for not participating in the stock market are the hefty cost of investments and the lack of guarantees on the money spent. For that reason, SprinkleBit starts new users off with 5,000 SprinkleBucks (the service’s own virtual currency) to help get them trading real stocks in motion.
Millennials are prolific crowdfunders
Despite their limited resources, Millennials have a reputation for being the most philanthropic generation. The rise of crowdfunding has made it possible for businesses and social causes to get funding through investments from the general public. From charities and startups to music and video game producers, businesses and social causes are finding it easier than ever to raise funds thanks to the ease of crowdfunding. 80% of all crowdfunding donations are made on mobile devices — most of the donations made using social media — integrating two technologies Millennials are extremely familiar with. It’s worth mentioning, though, that most companies may find that crowdfunding services have limitations, particularly when it comes to appealing to and gaining funding from a global audience.
Millennials are tech-innate global citizens
“Kids today have more in common with their global peers than they do with adults in their own country.” 58% of adults ages 35+ worldwide agree, according to the Forbes report. Millennials have more access to information, connectivity, and technology than any older generation. They are the first generation to grow up with digital technologies at their fingertips. They are accustomed to technology and easily embrace new tools and solutions. They may be skeptical about many finance-related areas, but when it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrency, Millennials seem to be welcoming them with open arms. In fact, the largest living generation in the United States is believed to trust fintech and cryptocurrency over traditional banks and regular stock markets. Generation Y puts its trust in blockchain as a much safer system than the international financial space is currently able to offer. According to a study by Edelman, 25% of Affluent Millennials (those aged 24 to 38 who have at least $50,000 in investable assets or $100,000 in individual or joint income) use or hold cryptocurrency. That’s on top of another 31% of millennials who expressed interest in using crypto. 74% of the respondents said that technological innovations like blockchain make the global financial system more secure. The blockchain technology is revolutionizing numerous sectors and erasing borders between countries and technologies while ensuring security and transparency of operations. That’s where SprinkleXchange steps into the picture. SprinkleXchange’s blockchain technology connects investors and businesses globally, regardless of their physical location. Not only does this give companies access to a global pool of investors, making it exponentially easier to get funding and speed up growth. Users can also benefit from expanding and diversifying their portfolio beyond domestic investments. Moreover, SprinkleXchange makes it easy for beginners to start investing in businesses they’re interested in, even with little money to start with.