In last week’s post, we took a look at some of the major factors that contribute towards Generation Y’s online traits. We discovered that the demographic is highly immersed in the ways of blogging, social media, social networking, mobile devices, and the Internet as a whole.
Alright, so now that we’ve established Gen Y’s online habits, let’s get into the good stuff for all you affiliates and merchants planning campaigns; Gen Y’s online spending habits. Using last week’s findings as a foundation, let’s take a closer look at the two major types of Gen Y online consumer: the “shopper” and the “deal-seeker.”
- most interested in the topic of shopping (hobby)
- spends a lot of time researching and preparing for in-store shopping trips
- focused on quality
- enjoys selling items
- enjoys searching for products (Craigslist, eBay, etc)
- participates in online retailer ratings and reviews
- most interested in promotions (across all online channels)
- uses email, Twitter to obtain exclusive deals, freebies, discounts, coupons, and sale notifications
- active in online retailer ratings and reviews
- not active with blogs, video, social media
- relies on online ratings and reviews when making purchases
As you’ve probably noticed from these bullets, social media/networking can play a large role in Gen Y’s online tendencies as online consumers, regardless of these two designations – some avenues, however, have proven to be fruitless. In particular, Twitter has become a marketing catalyst. Somewhat surprising, too, is the fact that email still plays a dominant role in reaching out to Gen Y.
A study conducted by Pew Internet & American Life Project in September 2009 confirms that, among Gen Y, Twitter use is on the rise. Specifically, one third of Twitter users are between the ages of 18 and 29 (eMarketer); this is Twitter’s largest segment by far (adults aged 30-49 come in second with 22%). Furthermore, 21% of this these users are female (17% are male).
Sysomos conducted a similar survey that reinforces this trend. They found that 66% of Twitter users are under the age of 25. The next largest segment was 15%, composed of users between the ages of 25-29 (13% came from the 18-24 age bracket). It can be argued that both of these segments make up Gen Y.
All Hail Email
Fascinatingly, despite the effect of social media, email (believe it or not!) is still an extremely viable channel when targeting Gen Y. In fact, most members of Gen Y prefer it to social media. In a study conducted by the Pace University’s Lubin School of Business’ IDM lab, it was discovered that email is the activity that Gen Yers were the least likely to give up (over a one week period); this garnering 26% of the vote (tied for first with text messaging).
Moreover, it should be noted that checking social network sites fared significantly worse among Gen Y, with only 9% least likely to give up the activity for a week. What this says, then, is that targeting ads and campaigns towards Gen Y through social media remains ineffective. “As long as email remains the collection point for social networking updates, including alerts around new followers, discussion updates and friend requests, it will remain a powerful force in marketing and our lives” (eMarketer).
In summing up our study on Gen Y’s online habits, it needs to be stressed that the most effective ways for targeting this massive demographic are via Twitter and email. Regardless of the array of social media/networks available to Gen Y, none compare to these two juggernauts, at least when focusing your campaigns at Gen Y.
Are you familiar with the Gen Y cohort? Or have you already implemented these tactics into your campaigns? Let us know of your success in targeting Gen Y, and if you have any questions hit us up in the comments below!
- A Look at Gen Y’s Online Habits (Part I)
- Managing Social Media More Strategically – Part 2
- Statistics Show Baby Boomers Have Spending Power Online
- Can Merchants Have Influence Through Klout?
- 12 Tips for Social Media Newbies