A lot of retailers believe focusing on the Millennials is the way to go because their spending power will continue to grow; although, a study conducted by the Intelligence Group, a division of Creative Artists Agency, shows that the 1,300 Millennials between the ages of 18 to 34 and a subset of Gen Z'ers between the ages of 14 to 17 polled for the survey will only make a purchase if it's deemed essential.
As The Cut reports, the 1,300 Youths that were polled, research what they want online while creating wish lists along the way. In turn, they could be categorized as window shoppers in the eyes of retailers and more specifically, marketers.
The Intelligence Group (TIG) refers to this behavior as "fauxsumerism".
Jamie Gutfreund, chief strategy officer of TIG, commented to WWD, "It's not doom and gloom, it's a shift away from the legacy ways of doing business to a consumer that's in transition. After the recession, these customers got used to being more careful about spending money. A lot of things have popped up to fill the gap."
"These customers sleep with their phones," Gutfreund stated. "They can get the best deal, sometimes an extraordinary deal, in a second. Their reasoning is that they can get something at a great price that also happens to be fabulous."
Why again is this group so important to companies? Let's break it down by the numbers.
According to WWD, the Millennials account for nearly 90 million of the roughly 318 million people in the U.S. and approximately two billion of the world's more than 7.1 billion inhabitants. This group's purchasing is thought to double by 2020, from the roughly $200 billion a year today.
As for Gen Z, this group is thought to directly influence approximately $600 million in U.S. consumer spending each year.
One of the biggest takeaways from this report is how companies need to think outside of the box. Quite simply, what worked 5 or 10 years ago, is going to be different today in terms of engaging consumers and converting the lookers into buyers.
What do you think? Do you feel the term "fauxsumerism" applies to you?