As witnessed by the world, the coronavirus crisis has proven to be highly detrimental to the retail sector. One of the major reasons is the shift in spending patterns, followed by the government’s call for the temporary closure of non-essential businesses.
However, the most significant shift is observed amongst the millennials, who have turned to online shopping because of the social distancing, and are suffering from financial anxiety, as they have the least financial strength to fight with the virus, if they get infected.
Another reason the millennials are taking a step back is the pressing concern that this will eventually lead to a recession, of which the top-most suffering generation would be theirs. When all of these factors are accumulated, the reasons for the shift becomes more and more evident. According to a First Insight Survey,
“When it comes to affording COVID-19 treatment and screening, many millennials are worried. More than one-third of insured American millennials aren’t confident they could handle costs, and they said they might have to borrow money from family or the bank to afford it.”
Below are five different ways that depict how the millennial spending pattern is shifting.
Millennials are taking the back-seat on spending
As the fear of a coronavirus related recession rises, the millennials are sharply cutting their spending, due to the financial uncertainty they could be facing in the future. According to the CEO of a retailing analytics firm,
“Millennial’s behavior is changing more dramatically than any other generation.”
This illustrates how it comes as something new for anyone in the industry. The preparation for the coronavirus and its aftermath can be seen most significantly amongst this generation.
Online shopping is on the surge amongst the millennials
Physical shopping trips have seen a steep decline in the past few weeks, followed by a rise in online shopping, fueling for a demand in more immersive virtual shopping experiences amongst the online retailers.
Moreover, items like grocery are being shopped online, which would have been a faraway thought for millennials, only a few weeks ago. According to Guy Elliott, SVP, retail and consumer products EMEA,
“The thing about online grocery shopping is that for the most part, once people get into the habit of doing it, say after three or four purchases, it becomes a routine and you don’t go away from it easily. I believe if this continues for a while we will see a significant sustained shift to online purchasing even post-virus,”
Hence, the shift in spending pattern would be even more apparent, once the fight with this global pandemic is over.
Utilization of apps and delivery services is higher than ever
As the coronavirus continues to spread, millennials are getting a hang of curbside pickups and contactless deliveries to get their food supplies. According to Reuters,
“Delivery drivers are leaving meals on doorsteps and consumers are texting their drivers pictures of where they want their food dropped off, while US-based delivery apps like Postmates and DoorDash are both rolling out more contactless delivery options.”
If the spread of virus continues to rise at the current rate, the utilization of delivery apps may go down, because of concerns over contamination and infection.
Some millennials have decided to take advantage of inexpensive airline tickets
While people are cancelling their flight reservations and self-quarantining amidst fear of the virus, some thrill-seeking millennials have decided to take advantage of the economical flights for sight-seeing. According to a Ashley, a 20 year old millennial in New York,
“I feel like if the coronavirus would get even more serious and like wipe out a large amount of people, I might as well be somewhere having fun,”
Although, having such a perspective in such drastic times should be highly discouraged, but the airlines slashing their prices to the minimum and having elastic ticket policies, this stands attractive to many of those millennials who couldn’t afford air travel otherwise.
Millennials might need to turn to other sources to support coronavirus care costs
“Most of the insured Americans are unsure if they can afford the treatment costs of coronavirus.” According to a poll by healthcare.com
Amongst the most concerned people are the millennials, who have inadequate finances to provide for the care costs, which is why there is a high probability that people aged between 18 and 34, would have to borrow from relatives and other sources to provide for the costs of treatment.
Fahad is an award-winning writer and editor with 10+ years of experience encompassing healthcare, technology, and medicine. He has worked with various telemedicine companies to improve patient outcomes in both rural and urban areas. With contributions toward various renowned healthcare journals and magazines, including ASCO and Medscape, the writer is proficient in writing and proofreading informative articles for various audiences.