With tech "embedded into everything Gen Yers do," the twenty-somethings are leading the way. But companies are having a hard time keeping up
Companies are having trouble keeping up with Generation Y consumers who are now setting the technology agenda.
Generation Y consists of 18- to 28-year-olds who are leading the way in technology adoption with nine out of 10 owning a PC and 82 per cent a mobile phone.
Generation Y is also the most internet-savvy group, spending more time online than they do watching television, with 42 per cent watching online video at least once per month.
Meanwhile 72 per cent of Generation Y mobile phone users send or receive SMS messages.
Charles Golvin, principal analyst at Forrester Research said Generation Y is the audience companies are most struggling to understand—a key issue due to their importance for future revenue growth.
The older Generation X (aged 29 to 42) also use technology extensively but more when it "intersects with a personal need or fulfils a desire".
Golvin said the key distinction between Generation X and Y is that Generation X uses technology when it supports a "lifestyle need" whereas tech is "embedded into everything Gen Yers do" making them the first "native online population".
During the past three months, 69 per cent of Generation Xers have shopped online and 65 per cent used online banking—more than any other group.
And Generation X is increasingly using online and mobile technologies with 21 per cent now reading a blog once per month compared to 15 per cent last year. In addition, 61 per cent of mobile subscribers text compared to 49 per cent in 2007.
The research is part of Forrester's 2008 North America Technographics Benchmark survey which gathered data from around 61,000 consumers in the US and Canada.