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Mexico's Millennials Take Baby Steps Toward Digital Buying

Limited access to bank, credit card services has curbed online purchasing among millennials

There are over 40 million millennials in Mexico. That’s a sizeable chunk of the country’s population of 119 million, but millennials make up an even larger part of the digital population.

In many ways, their digital habits and attitudes parallel those in more economically advanced markets. But, having grown up in a middle-income country where much of the population is unbanked, and having been hit with an historic recession just as they were getting started in life, they have less financial flexibility than their peers in many other countries and are less likely to make purchases online, according to a new eMarketer report, “Mexico Millennials: Who They Are and What They Are Doing Online.”

When it comes to digital spending, there is a clear gap between older and younger millennials in Mexico, reflecting differences in life stage and income. September 2013 research by The Cocktail Analysis found that nearly three-quarters of the older group (ages 25 to 34) made a purchase via digital channels in the past 12 months, compared with just 54% of the younger millennials (ages 18 to 24).

Responding to the challenge of marketing to a population with limited access to bank and credit card services, ecommerce vendors have come up with a variety of pricing and payment options.

Spotify, for example, set an affordable entry-level price for its premium service (MXN99, or $7.76) and offered a mix of payment methods for its primarily millennial clientele. And Walmart México y Centroamérica, whose main target audience runs from 25- to 45-year-olds, is leveraging its brick-and-mortar locations to facilitate digital purchases.

Data about categories purchased digitally by millennials is scant, but they likely mirror national trends that indicate intangible goods such as movie and event tickets, airplane tickets, and hotel reservations are still the primary type of ecommerce purchase in Mexico.

But millennials are likely to lead the way in acceptance of purchasing a wide variety of goods online. The Cocktail Analysis found that two-thirds of buyers in digital retail categories such as fashion (apparel, shoes, accessories), culture (paperback books, ebooks, digital music, physical music items, digital and physical movies/videos) and electronics were consumers between 18 and 35 years old.

Get more on this topic with the full eMarketer report, “Mexico Millennials: Who They Are and What They Are Doing Online.”

This report answers these key questions:

  • Who are Mexico’s millennials? And what forces are shaping them as consumers?
  • How do these millennials use the internet?
  • How do younger and older millennials differ in the country?

eMarketer releases over 200 analyst reports per year, which are only available to eMarketer corporate subscribers.

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