Behavioral Insights and Trends for Millennials in the UK, France and Germany - eMarketer

Newsletters Sign-Up

Plans & Pricing

Does My Company Subscribe?

Behavioral Insights and Trends for Millennials in the UK, France and Germany

Examining this demographic group’s digital life

September 26, 2017

Young adults ages 18 to 34 in the UK, France and Germany are a crucial demographic group. Millennials in these countries have grown up with the internet and an ever-increasing spectrum of digital devices. However, they still combine their digital habits with consumption of TV and other traditional media.

Millennials in all three countries are also champion smartphone users, not least because these devices enable them to carry out a variety of work and leisure activities from almost anywhere.

Millennial Smartphone User Penetration in France*, Germany* and the UK, by Age, 2017 (% of population)

Millennials have long been a prime target for advertisers and marketers. The youngest ones are just entering the working world, and the combination of rising incomes and a willingness to experiment with new products and services is highly attractive to brands. In the digital era, though, millennials’ expectations are higher than ever.

Millennials’ use of digital media, devices, social media, ecommerce platforms, engagement with brands and more are examined in a new report from eMarketer, “Marketing to Millennials in France, Germany and the UK: Behavioral Insights and Marketer Trends.” (Subscribers to eMarketer PRO can access the report here. Nonsubscribers can purchase the report here.)

For instance, some millennials in these countries are abandoning Facebook for trendier, mobile-first social platforms. A report on millennial behavior and preferences by Accenture quotes one respondent as saying, “[Facebook has] kind of died down.” In the context of Western Europe, this is especially true in the UK.

eMarketer estimates that Snapchat’s UK user base will reach 14.0 million in 2017, which works out to roughly one-third of all smartphone users. Instagram will be further ahead, with 16.7 million users this year. These platforms are fun, visual and much more intimate than the more established broadcast-style networks like Facebook and Twitter—attributes that appeal to smartphone-savvy millennials.

When it comes to ecommerce, millennials tend to be omnichannel shoppers, expecting to use digital channels at various points in their shopping journey. And they’re typically willing to buy online, where prices are often cheaper than in local stores and product selection may be broader. However, they are not the biggest digital buyers, partly because they aren’t as solvent as some of their older counterparts and because they still enjoy the experience of shopping in physical stores.

A 2016 study by Innofact for Creditreform Boniversum in Germany found that millennial internet users clearly prefer buying in-store to buying online or via mail order. The preference for physical stores was less marked than in other age brackets in the survey, but still decisive.

Millennials aren’t shy about what they want from companies and advertisers. Young adults in France, Germany and the UK respond positively to the prospect of promotions, discounts and exclusive offers from brands. In France, 58% of millennials polled for a study by Food Service Vision published in March 2017 said they wanted to use their mobile phones to benefit from loyalty programs offered by restaurants, bars and cafes, and hoped their preferences would be reflected in personalized rewards.

Individually tailored communications and rewards are a promising area for advertisers able to deliver on these desires. Yet they also need to be aware of millennials’ security and privacy concerns.


  • Go beyond the articles:

    eMarketer Products

    You've never experienced research like this.

  • Hear from our clients:

    Customer Stories

    Nearly all Fortune 500 companies rely on us.

  • Want to learn more?

    Contact Us

    Inquire about corporate subscriptions today.