Millennials would rather rent than own goods

Millennials are all about the sharing economy and living in a world of “accelerated transformation”.

This has been confirmed in research released by Deloitte in its 2018 Millennial Survey, conducted with over 10 000 people globally, who currently fall between the ages of 25 to 36.

“In other words, this generation is more concerned about having the freedom to see the world and spend their money on experiences rather than owning property or even ‘things’,” notes Rami Sassen, CEO of online retailer Teljoy.

“They have the firm and very sensible belief that you don’t have to own something to be able to use it. But they also still want to have access to the latest state‐of‐the‐art in design trends and technology.”

Teljoy’s rent-to-own model has unknowingly already tapped into a non-committal generation by renting everything from home appliances and electronics to furniture.

Another interesting finding in the report, notes Sassen, is that Millennials also have less money to spend, which means that they are tending to be more budget conscious when it comes to laying out large amounts of cash on goods, or signing expensive, high‐interest‐bearing hire‐purchase agreements.

“Again, the rent‐to‐own model is ideal for them,” notes Sassen. “For as long as consumers desire financial flexibility like Millennials do, Teljoy, through month-to‐month contracts, allows consumers to upgrade to the newest model at any time – it works out perfectly.”

“This satisfies a Millennial’s desire to always be experiencing the latest of anything – in other words, the ‘accelerated transformation’ concept referred to in the Deloitte report. This basically relates to the fact that Millennials want to adapt to new trends and technologies as quickly as possible, and be equally ready to move on to new ones as they appear on the horizon.”

However, at the same time, should their financial position change, Teljoy also allows its customers to downgrade or even cancel and return the unit should they need or wish to do so.

“Again, this gives Millennials peace of mind that they will not be locked into lengthy unaffordable contracts that go on for years,” notes Sassen.

Another trait, as outlined in the report, is that Millennials are “digital natives” who prefer transacting and communicating online, particularly through their mobile devices. This is a trend Teljoy bought into as a company already as far back as 2014, when it took its shopping experience online and is continually tracking trends and adapting its online presence to enhance customer experience.

“In many ways, Millennials have a more savvy approach to ‘owning’ things and less of an obsession about it than their parents had,” says Sassen. “What marks their success is very different to their elders, who were in turn very focused on accumulating worldly possessions to show their status.

“Yes, certainly, the newer generation wants access to anything that will make their lives easier and more comfortable, but outright material possession or ownership  of an object is no longer the be all and end all.”

A rent‐to‐own model can also grow with a generation as it grows in turn, notes Sassen: “Millennials may be travelling the world right now, and choosing not to settle in one home, but eventually their lifestyles may change. However, their outlook on owning things outright probably won’t.”

As a result of this, they will still expect to be able to get everything they need on a transient basis, believes Sassen, as they move towards, for example, starting their own families.

“We can literally see to a family’s needs through its entire lifespan,” says Sassen, ” and this is what Millennials will increasingly come to expect of the companies with which they choose to do business. The realisation that this market requires a stress-free lifestyle, rent-to-own works out perfectly in that Teljoy offers them peace of mind – risk cover, maintenance and TV licences are all inclusive in the month-to-month fee. Compared to the more popular hire purchase, rent-to-own enables this generation financial lifestyle flexibility that was not enjoyed by their predecessors.

“This is the generation that is growing up on disrupter economies such as Uber and Airbnb, and service providers need to be very aware of what their needs will be, not just today but into the future.”

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