Millennials are on everyone’s lips, which is not surprising at all.
Defined as those born between 1980 and 2000, the Millennial generation, also known as Gen Y, is a large and influential segment of the world’s population.
According to Deloitte, consulting and advisory services company, the Millennial generation accounts today for a quarter of the population and will tally for three quarters of the global workforce by 2025.
Millennials are tech savvy and activists for personal rights, while they strive to make a change and build a better world.
But how is this generation pushing this change forward?
Digital banking solutions
A study released by EY Global Islamic Banking Center in 2017 reveals that the Millennial generation has a clear preference for conducting their financial services on an end-to-end digital platform.
“Using FinTech innovations, banks worldwide are stepping forward to offer digital-only banking services to meet the differentiated needs of this customer segment,” it said.
The study said that a leading Islamic bank based in the UAE had recently announced the planned launch of a digital-only bank targeting the Millennials in the UAE, in partnership with a German online bank.
Emirates NBD, for instance, set up the Emirates NBD Future Lab, which fostered several of the bank’s new innovations, including Liv., the UAE’s first digital bank targeted at Millennials and launched earlier this year.
According to a study published in 2016 by Blake Goud, CEO at RFI Foundation, which promotes responsible finance practices, GCC banks consider Millennials as the new growth segment in banking, since they represent 40 per cent of the market.
The region’s Millennials showed a particular interest in areas, such as alternative payments, mobile wallets and mobile money, in which banks face competition from non-banks.
Millennials in business
Millennials are moving into positions of authority, which is increasing clashes in leadership styles, according to a statement by Hazel Jackson, CEO of Biz Group.
Jackson said: “The age of people working in the UAE is definitely dropping, even though traditional industries – such as oil and gas – still have a generally older workforce. New industries emerging in the UAE tend to be run and staffed by a younger, digitally-savvy demographic – and everyone is looking to monetise the new digital era. There is a culture shift happening and businesses need to be prepared now or risk falling behind.”
Moreover, Millennials are changing employers’ attitude to promotions, according to a new survey from The Cashlorette, a platform providing support to Millennials for a better use of their money.
The survey reveals that half of Millennials discuss their compensation at work with friends compared to 36 per cent of Americans overall.
It said that those workers between 18 and 36 are four times more likely than baby boomers to talk to colleagues about their salary, raises and promotions.
“This new openness about money has led to less secrecy around compensation, as well as put pressure on employers to formalize promotions and explain why some employees are paid more than others,” LinkedIn quoted the Wall Street Journal as saying.
Researches find that Millennials are driving the spike in online shopping.
With the recent acquisition of Souq.com by online giant Amazon and the launch of the new local e-commerce site Noon.com, the shift to online shopping in the GCC has become more apparent than ever, according to a recent study by YouGov.
The study found that 83 per cent of local GCC Millennials shopped online in the past 6 months, with 42 per cent shopping on local websites and 41 per cent on international ones.
The research also found that the items most likely to be purchased online by GCC Millennials are mobile phones (20 per cent) and computer software/hardware (20 per cent), followed by electronic equipment (19 per cent), games (17 per cent) and e-books (13 per cent).
YouGov considered that the most common barriers to online shopping were related to the discomfort of making online payments, high shipping charges and long-awaited delivery. As for female GCC Millennials, these barriers include a lack of cash on delivery options, uncertainty of authenticity of products found online and a lack of information about the return process.
Hence, the rise in online shopping by Millennials should prompt e-commerce websites to look at the Millennials’ concerns and come up with solutions, if they want to keep this segment of shoppers and further increase their sales.
Data from YouGov reports reveal how Millennials aren’t vacationing like their parents’ generation does.
“Unlike their elders, today’s youth want individualized experiences that explore local culture — a need largely unmet by traditional travel and tourism companies,” it said.
It added that Millennials, from the UK, US, Germany and China for example, are booking their trips online at higher rates than older consumers.
“These young people are also showing more interest in platform-based services, such as Airbnb and Uber, than older consumers, while simultaneously showing less interest in conventional car rental companies and national hotel chains, however chains such as Jumeirah have bucked the trend by adapting to the Millennial market with more targeted marketing efforts,” it said.
Data shows that traditional travel and tourism companies need to evolve, if they hope to remain relevant to today’s young travellers.