A new report reveals some of the ways Millennials and GenZs have been making career-driven and health-conscious decisions when it comes to parenthood.
Millennial parents are changing the way they raise their children compared to previous generations.
These changes, whether they are career-driven, health-conscious, or equality-focused, are affecting how they spend their money and make purchasing decisions, as well as influencing the opinions and environment in which future generations will grow up.
Over the last decade, companies have heavily targeted millennials across the globe. As millennials begin their own families and become parents, companies need to update the way they perceive and reach out to them. Millennial parents continue to not only be major consumers, but are also shaping the habits, preferences, and perceptions of the next generation.
This report focuses on the overall lifestyles of global millennial parents, with specific emphasis on how their values and priorities impact their behavior as parents and what this means for business.
In no rush to start a family
The average age of women at first childbirth has been steadily increasing around the world. This is influencing family structure as more women seek higher education, a career, and more life experiences, pushing their first pregnancy to later in their lives.
Nevertheless, although they are delaying having children, millennials are still heavily invested in starting a family. Around 72% of millennials feel that having children is an important factor for a happy life. Being such a large cohort, their influence on business is growing.
About 48% of millennials prefer spending money on experiences, rather than things. For business, understanding the changing values and behaviors of millennial parents is key to effectively reaching this consumer group through marketing, product innovation, and distribution. But also important is for companies to understand their demands as employees, creating benefits and career paths to ensure the retention of talent.
Men as home-makers
More men globally are taking on the responsibility of care-giver. As more women continue to focus on their careers, men are taking a break from their professional lives or taking advantage of flexible working schedules to be more involved in the day-to-day raising of their children. Millennial dads are taking over many household chores that were predominantly completed by women in the past, such as grocery shopping, preparing meals, laundry, and bathing and dressing children, as well as being more involved in their children’s activities.
Employers which offer on-site daycare or flexible hours, as well as brands that create products and services to make life more convenient for parents, are therefore likely to resonate with millennial families, as they value time with their family but are equally invested in their careers.
Spending more time together
Millennials are spending more time with their children than previous generations. They are invested in building close relationships with them and keeping up-to-date on the latest trends that are happening in their children’s lives.
Millennial parents are more involved in many aspects of their children’s lives, enabled by shifting workplace environments and greater flexibility. Companies that offer flexible work patterns are more appealing to millennial parents.
Taking time for themselves
Millennial parents value spending time with their family. However, they are not neglecting themselves. Time for themselves is still considered an important priority for overall happiness, and many millennial parents do not believe they should be sacrificing this for their children.
To ensure they are being as efficient with their time as possible, millennial parents are highly invested in making life as convenient as possible. About 58% of global millennial parents are willing to spend money to save time. Not only are they actively look- ing to simplify daily tasks, but they are even willing to spend money to make this happen.
Changes in spending
The access economy has evolved alongside millennials, who due to student debt, low starting incomes, and the rising cost of living, have pushed back materialistic purchases such as homes and cars compared with previous generations. Instead, they are taking advantage of ride-sharing and online reselling, saving their money to spend on experiences and daily goods and services rather than luxury possessions.
Millennial parents are taking advantage of the access economy to save money. They’re saving money not only on their own lifestyle, but also their children’s, by sharing toys, children’s clothing and larger items such as prams, car seats, and cots.
However, not all millennials around the globe are in the same situation. Millennials in the Asia Pacific region, particularly in India and China, have seen a jump in their disposable incomes compared with previous generations, and are taking advantage of being able to purchase luxury goods such as cars and designer clothing. Owning these types of products is not only possible for these millennials, but is seen as a status symbol. Seventy-five percent of Indian millennial parents and 74% of Chinese millennial parents say that it is important to them that other people think they are doing well.
In-store shopping experiences
The convenience of online shopping has drastically changed the retail landscape.
This does not mean that in-store shopping has vanished completely. Although they are moving away from brick-and-mortar department stores, millennial parents still seek brand-specific stores, which often carry a status that relates to their lifestyle choices. Retailers that have limited-edition products that are only available in-store are likely to resonate with millennial parents who want to maintain their distinct and exclusive image.
Alongside brand image, retailers should ensure that the shopping experience in their stores is enjoyable. Using unique attractions such as VR technology, pop-ups, or entertainment for children will likely attract more millennial parents to their stores.
Changing family dynamics and households mean that businesses need to ensure that the entire family is being targeted, instead of focusing solely on individuals within young family households. Being able to spend time with their children and family is extremely important to millennial parents. Developing products that are convenient and time-efficient is therefore key, as well as taking these needs into consideration when putting together employee benefits packages.
Continuously trying to save money where they can, millennial parents are avid users of access economy services and products. Businesses need to be aware of such disruptors, as they can easily hinder the growth of luxury or high-cost items, which are no longer seen as necessary to own.
Still wanting to get the most out of life, millennial parents are willing to spend money to enjoy themselves. Businesses need to ensure that this thirst for experiences is being used to their advantage, through their own products, the shopping experience, and the relationship they build with their customers.