What a mobile payments app can teach marketers about reaching millennials

Venmo is becoming a must for Gen Y interactions. Here’s what a roundup of transactions suggest younger consumers are using it for—aside from buying pizza and beer.

More and more, millennials are using their phones for seemingly everything.

They also tend to gravitate toward certain brands or products for their ease of use.

Accordingly, PayPal-owned Venmo—a popular mobile payments app—has become an integral part of how younger consumers conduct monetary transactions.

In analyzing more than 500,000 Venmo transactions over the past year, LendEdu found some interesting purchasing patterns.

They start with this:

Venmo users are usually young and tech savvy.

In the past few months, have you heard someone say, “Venmo me”?

Researchers at LendEdu have, and they credit that catchy phrase—and marketability—to the app’s popularity among millennial consumers:

Venmo makes splitting bills and paying in groups frictionless. It’s so easy, that the app has become a verb for millennials.

For those who aren’t familiar with Venmo, here’s how it works:

Venmo is designed to allow people to send and receive small amounts of money. Venmo allows users to transfer money to each other in real-time from bank accounts, debit cards, and credit cards. [A] favorite feature is users’ abilities to withdraw Venmo balances to your bank account via ACH transfer in under a day. And if one of your boys (or girls) forgets to pay what they owe, you can Venmo request that individual for the money without seeming like a complete jerk for asking for $4 for that beer the other day.

Here are a few highlights from LendEdu’s study—and what marketers in certain industries (food, retail, banking, cable, transportation and real estate) should note:

Millennials are hungry—and they aren’t cooking

Out of the seemingly countless emojis being used by millennials on Venmo, the pizza emoji is king.

In addition to pizza, data say beverages and other food-related emojis are among the app’s most frequently used terms.

Have a look:

Here are a few important trends to note, from LendEdu:

  • The word “kale” was used more than the word brunch.

  • We were surprised to see that tequila broke the top 100.

  • On its own, mentions of “Chipotle” beat out “Chinese.”

  • Venmo was used more frequently during dinner than lunch and breakfast.

  • During weekends, pizza and drinking emojis topped the charts.

  • In the afternoons, coffee transactions were popular.

  • Starbucks was much more popular than Dunkin’ Donuts.

Advertising Age reports:

[Food mentions and transactions] make sense given the app’s majority base of millennial users who both enjoy the cheesy, cheap dinner option and don’t often carry cash. Alcohol-related emojis, such as champagne, wine and beer, swept four of the top 10 spots for emojis used.

Additional data show that millennials value brand names—and often use emojis to reference specific brands.

Here’s more from Ad Age:

When reviewing words used in the description field of the app, LendEdu chief technology officer, Matt Lenhard, found that some users were very specific in their payments, using brand names such as “Uber,” ” Comcast,” and “Costco” in their transactions. In fact, the ride-booking app was the second most frequently used term overall in the app, following “food.”

Here’s the app’s most frequently used cartoon icons:

Millennials value a sense of security

Aside from food and fun, younger consumers are using Venmo to pay their rent. Or rather, they’re using it pay back their roommates for fronting their rent.

Does that make them finically irresponsible?

David Rathmanner, LendEdu’s director of content and data, says the opposite.

“The most surprising thing was how frequently the emoji for rent popped up,” he told Ad Age. “Millennials really seem to trust the security of the app, if they’re willing to use it for things like rent.”

Here’s more:

While Venmo doesn’t reveal the average payment size in their app, the company did say that rent emojis are linked to the highest-priced transactions. Per their data, rent is the seventh most commonly used emoji.

Before many marketers know it, millennials could be making all their purchases via apps and online. Those looking to tap into this tricky niche can find value in how they use emerging apps such as Venmo.

Ragan readers, how might you use Venmo statistics to reach millennials?

(Image via)

Topics: PR

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