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Invest in Millennials

June 26, 2013 By Grace Ellis, Specialist, Industry and Policy, Communications CEA

If you aren’t selling to millennials, you’re missing a growing market. Millennials are the future of the consumer electronics industry. According to Millennials: The New Face of Retail, a recent study by the Consumer Electronics Association, millennials are larger purchasers of CE products and accessories than any other generation. To top things off, intent to purchase CE in the next 12 months is also higher among millennials. 

One thing is for certain, accessories retailers and manufacturers cannot afford to ignore millennials. According the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 86 million millennials in the U.S. between the ages of 13 and 31. This represents a huge portion of the American population (27 percent), and is roughly the same size as the baby boomer population.

Being the first generation to grow up in the digital world, it’s no surprise millennials are more likely than other generations to be early adopters of new technology. This generation is driven to have the latest and greatest because the digital landscape is constantly evolving and advancing. As millennials age and gain more purchasing power and influence, it is important for retailers and manufacturers in the tech industry to understand how they learn about and eventually adopt technology. 

When it comes to buying CE accessories, three-fourths of millennials purchased accessories in the past year, which is more than any other generation. Smartphones, laptops and gaming devices were the most popular purchases for millennials in the past year, and it is likely that these were also among the top products for which they bought accessories.

However, not all millennials have the same purchasing behaviors and influence. With an almost 20-year age gap between the youngest and oldest millennials, it’s important to understand the differences between the two major groups of the generation (youth and adult) in order to maximize promotional and selling tactics. 

Key Distinctions 

“Youth millennials” refers to individuals between the ages of 13 to 17. While they currently spend less on CE devices than other generations, averaging $229 in past year, youth millennials averaged $80 on CE accessory purchases over the past year, outspending baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1965) and the silent generation (born between 1928 and 1945). It’s critical to gain their brand loyalty now because they will continue to invest in CE products and services as they age and their incomes rise. 


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