Understanding millennials is key for airline merchandising now and in the future

6 May, 2019

There's no debate about the importance millennials have in the current travel landscape, and that influence certainly will only grow stronger in the future.

During a panel discussion at the recent CAPA Americas Summit in Denver, Colorado, Expedia VP of transport partner services and air optimisation Julie Kyse offered an interesting insight into the demographics of millennials.

There are actually two sub segments of millennials. Generation Z, which encompasses 18 to 23 year olds, and 24 to 35 year olds. Generation Z is "super important" said Ms Kyse, noting that by 2020 that age set would become the largest generation.

But it is important to understand that the 24 to 35 year old age group are at varying stage in their lives, she explained. Some millennials in that age segment are getting married, having children and buying homes. It is not uncommon for Expedia to put an offer for Disney in front of members of that age group, Ms Kyse noted.

She also highlighted a couple of ways that millennials interact with travel brands. Millennials are very indecisive about destinations; they're inspired by photography and images they see on social media.

They are "looking for brands that will guide them, make recommendations and curate choices for them", Ms Kyse explained. They are also "very susceptible to having great photos and imagery in front of them, they want to picture themselves there…informative content reviews are secondary".

Millennials also often feel time-pressured and can suffer from information overload. "The big thing is to help them to reduce that cognitive overload, otherwise you're not going to convert them and win their business", sad Ms Kyse.

She concluded machine learning was an important investment for the company as it works to ensure that it provides relevant offers for millennials. Machine Learning allows Expedia to ensure that it is providing millennials with offers that are "relevant to them, and not just relevant to their segment as millennials, but relevant to them personally".