Millennials. Currently, this group makes up the largest generation living in the United States. With approximately 79.8 million millennials, as reported by Pew Research Center, obtaining, maintaining and retaining consumers from this particular consumer segment is the golden ticket for retailers.
Nielson research confirms that multicultural millennials make up 42 percent of the overall millennial population, and 47 percent of those multicultural millennials have a significant impact on the U.S.'s entire gross domestic product. As such, a key demographic of the millennial population on which retailers may want to zero in: the Hispanic group. This group is moving up fast in the retail world.
Research shows that between the 1965 landmark immigration law enacted and now, both Hispanics and Asians have grown at a faster rate than non-Hispanic whites. While non-Hispanic whites' growth has decreased from 84 percent of the U.S. population down to 62 percent, Hispanics have jumped from 4 percent to 18 percent and Asians from 1 percent to 6 percent.
Although multiple cultures in the United States have been growing for the last 50-plus years, there have not been many studies on the Hispanic millennial niche segment of the retail population. With today's more than 55 million Hispanic population consisting of 60 percent millennials — with its overall ethnicity representing 18 percent of the country, and its spending power coming out to approximately $1.5 trillion annually — it may prove a hard segment for retailers to ignore.
Over the past few years, companies like IRI Worldwide and Nielsen have begun conducting studies on Hispanic millennials in retail. As the U.S. culture continues to expand, it's likely that we'll see other research institutions following suit.
IRI Wordwide executive vice president of consumer shopper marketing, Larry Levin, commented on the company's annual study on Hispanic shopping patterns.
"Every year, we do an in-depth study on Hispanics' shopping behaviors, and our most recent research takes a closer look at their shopper journey — including specific insights about the channels they shop, specific products they purchase as well as their adoption of eCommerce as a convenient and affordable means to do their shopping," said Levin. "Hispanic millennials, in particular, are a very large consumer segment and are very digitally savvy, so our research will help CPGs customize their marketing efforts to achieve optimal results among this core growth target."
Retailers looking to influence Hispanic millennials should likely turn their efforts toward the online arena. IRI's research shows 38 percent of Hispanics conduct pre-shopping research to ensure they're getting the best deal, while 33 percent read up on social media. As such, getting this group engaged early on in the shopping experience is key for success.
The digitally-savvy nature of Hispanic millennials has begun to manifest itself in digital wallets. As PYMNTS reported, Hispanic millennials are being drawn to mobile wallets, with 63 percent of this age group using Apple Wallet. Only 43 percent of their counterpart non-Hispanic whites have it.
Given the wide margin Hispanic millennials have over non-Hispanic millennials, it may be safe to say that both technology evangelists and retailers will be focusing much more on the former group in the near future.
In retail news impacting the industry and consumers, it was announced Thursday afternoon that Republicans have given up trying to pass the border adjustment tax. As PYMNTS reported earlier this week, retailers raised severe concerns over Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's proposed border tax that would tax any items imported from other countries. The main issue retailers were having was that it could potentially cause them to raise prices to cover the tax costs, which would then put a burden on consumers' pocketbooks and possibly turn business away.
The National Retail Federation's president, Matthew Shay, who has been a big opponent of the bill, commented to reporters about this decision.
"By removing this costly element of reform, the way has been cleared for swift action on a middle-class tax cut that will put more money in the wallets of the American taxpayer," Shay said. "Changing our outdated tax code is fundamental if we are to grow our economy, encourage investment and create jobs."
Republicans have confirmed they will continue to work on tax reform through committees later this fall.