Millennials (or Generation Y), born between 1981 and 1996, have helped to lead a shift in overall consumer habits and behaviors, forcing many companies to change the way they advertise, operate, and even what they sell or how they produce products.
While this generation is often criticized for their ways, student loans and other debts—not to mention significant economic shifts—have caused millennials to rethink their approach to debt, making purchases, and overall what’s important to their lives.
Due to these changes in consumer choices, here are a few things experts say millennials might be killing off.
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While they aren’t the only generation taking the cord-cutting approach, they are often seen as leading the charge. The rising popularity in streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+ and others have made it possible to watch your favorite shows and movies anytime, anywhere. Millennials are getting rid of cable, satellite, and broadband providers and opting for cheaper, more accessible options.
The 9-5 workday
While more people are working from home than ever before, millennials are often credited with encouraging a change in the traditional workplace. The preference for more flexible work hours, increased emphasis on a work-life balance, and desire to work from home is changing the overall work experience and approach for hiring new employees for many industries and companies.
The ease and accessibility of online shopping has eliminated the need to venture out to the crowded department stores and malls. Millennials also generally have less brand loyalty and would often prefer to spend less on a generic brand. This generation is much less likely to shop at brick-and-mortar stores, especially as online shopping and digital experiences continue to improve and evolve.
Diamonds are a serious investment, and some of the jewelry and wedding experts suggest engagement rings should cost at least two months’ salary. However, millennials aren’t as on board with going into debt for jewelry, and sales of diamonds have decreased in recent years. This may be because this generation is more likely to want ethically sourced diamonds, which leads to more interest in lab-made (or synthetic) diamonds that are more affordable. They are also less likely to shop in traditional retail jewelry stores and are looking beyond the brand names.
Traditionally, experts say millennials care more about experiences than physical things, leading to a decrease in spending on luxury goods. Additionally, rental services give those who want designer clothes or accessories the ability to spend less with more flexibility. Ownership of luxury goods is no longer as important and less of a status symbol, and this generation is choosing to spend their dollars elsewhere.
While casual dining chains such as Olive Garden, Applebees, and others saw supreme growth in the 90s and early 2000s, they’ve seen an overall decline in patrons in recent years, leading to the closing of many locations.
Some research shows millennials are instead choosing higher-end dining options, or fast, healthy options from chains such as Chipotle, Panera Bread, and Starbucks. This generation is leading an evolution in the dining experience, trading these casual dining chains for others that more match their nutrition preferences and values.
Caitlyn is a freelance writer from the Cincinnati area with clients ranging from digital marketing agencies, insurance/finance companies, and healthcare organizations to travel and technology blogs. She loves reading, traveling, and camping—and hanging with her dogs Coco and Hamilton.