Millennials & Gen Z: The Future of Retail

A powerhouse duo

A recent report from Morgan Stanley's consumer retail team found that the workforce overlap of the two outsized generations—73 million for Millennials and 78 million for Gen Z—could power not only higher consumption but also higher wages and housing demand, all pillars of GDP growth. This youth population currently wields a massive spending power totaling an estimated $2.9 trillion annually by YPulse's latest calculations—and growing.

It is clear that there will be a "youth boom" with significant implications for retailers and will become increasingly more crucial to reach Gen Z and millennials as their purchasing power continues to grow in the years to come. These digitally savvy generations are ready to adopt new purchasing options, but they also see the value and yearn for the nostalgia of pre-COVID shopping habits. Retailers that take the lessons from this past year and create the best overarching experiences for these omnichannel shoppers will come out ahead now and in the future.

Shifting priorities

The Morgan Stanley report identified many new themes and demographic data on spending that could make the most out of marketing campaigns. It pointed towards technology as one theme that would allow customers to choose their best option in terms of price or service between offline stores and online shopping websites without compromising quality.

The financially savvy Millennials and Gen Zs are loyal to an extent to a brand's product but are more price-conscious than name-loyal. They're happy to switch brands if the price is right. In the age where services such as Amazon Prime can offer a wide selection of products at flexible costs, it's simple to find cheaper alternatives to your product. Therefore, brands need to build economic benefits into their loyalty/reward programs to appeal to the younger generation. 

The size of the Millennial and Gen Z generation and its collective buying power is impossible for marketers to ignore. But to catch the interest of this highly-educated and skeptical generation, brands will need to work harder to connect with audiences on a deeper level.

Interested in how Kard can help get your brand in front of millions of Millennials and Gen Z? For more information, visit and follow us on LinkedIn.