Millennials have a complicated relationship with money. Pilloried by some people for spending too much on indulgences like artisanal coffee, hailed by others for their attention to discounts and comparison shopping, millennials do not neatly fit into a single box when it comes to spending, although as a whole the generation continues to feel the aftershocks of the deep global recession that welcomed them to the workforce.
That multifaceted nature is highlighted in a recent Deloitte study of millennials’ luxury purchasing behaviors and attitudes, exploring some of the ways in which they vary by country.
The most common way in which young adults research luxury purchases is via social media, Deloitte found. One in five internet users ages 20 to 30 surveyed worldwide said that social networks were their primary research tool when thinking about a luxury purchase.
Though social media was the leader, responses varied by country. The study, which covered the US, the UK, Italy and China, found that social sites had a lower impact among respondents in China, for example.
Additionally, five other options were named as the primary research tool for luxury items by at least 10% of the survey base—for instance, using a brand’s website or looking through fashion magazines (cited by 15.1% and 14.4%, respectively).
Those country-by-country variations extended to other areas of consideration. For example, younger adults in China and the UK were much more likely to say they were “very interested” in luxury items, whereas those in Italy and the US were less likely to express higher interest.
Similarly, the triggers that motivate millennials to make luxury purchases differ across markets. Not surprisingly, the most commonly cited purchase trigger among total internet users in the survey was an impending event, such as a wedding or party. But again, the response was splintered; at least 10% of respondents named reasons such as a big payday or “when I’m feeling a bit low” as luxury purchase triggers.