Meet Me: The Female Twentysomething

The female members of the 75 million–strong millennial generation are the focus of the recently released “The Jane 20-Something Study 2006” by Jane magazine. Questions about life, values, self, and shopping were posed to women between the ages of 20 and 29 who revealed strong self images; aspirations to have it all, from the newest accessory to a great job; and lives filled with choices about work, clothes, relationships, and leisure time. Words these women used to describe themselves include spender, idealistic, tech-centric, hip, restless, and savvy consumer.

Other telling points: 84 percent find a way to purchase some- thing they want but can’t afford, 93 percent include music and 86 percent include fashion among their top forms of self expression, and they’re twice as likely as the general population to adopt new technology.

Perhaps most interesting is how these women spend disposable income. Overall, they spent 48 percent on fashion/beauty/accessories, 30 percent on travel, 13 percent on technology and electronics, and 9 percent on music and entertainment. Jane‘s breakdown of the fashion/beauty/accessories category into subcategories includes apparel, 44 percent; beauty, 19 percent; jewelry and watches, 16 percent; shoes, 16 percent; and handbags, 8 percent.

Retailers need to understand that technology is the social accessory of women in their 20s: 77 percent share videos online, 62 percent read a blog, 35 percent post content to a blog, 23 percent create blogs, and 20 percent maintain a Web site. During typical weekdays, 99 percent use e-mail; 96 percent use mobile phones; 56 percent use instant messaging; 54 percent listen to online music, radios, and podcasts; 51 percent send text messages to friends; 43 percent use video games; 34 percent use social networking Web sites; and 20 percent watch online movies and television. And, on average, three times monthly, each of these women makes an online purchase.

Jane surveyed 1,000 women online and 823 Jane subscribers. The women were queried in February and March 2006 by Research Communications. Data from three 1996 studies (by Yankelovich, Roper Reports, and MRI) were used for comparison.