Millennials and ePrivacy on the web - strategy meets reality


3 min read

Posted by Alina Sidbrant on September 30, 2020

Millennials and ePrivacy on the web - strategy meets reality

Web security, web privacy, cookies usage, personalisation of web... These are the types of things that we are hearing about in our everyday life. These issues have also become the focus on the European Digital arena. Furthermore, in Ireland the digital experience managers were encouraged to pay special attention to cookie management, as Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) has published the compliance regulation, coming into force 05.10.2020.

In order to help companies plan their digital strategy, in August this year we partnered with ESTIEM – European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management, and sampled 180 millennials to find out their views and opinions on security, privacy, tracking, personalisation and trust on the web.

The survey we sent out included 30 different questions on the matter and has resulted in many useful and surprising insights for digital marketers. We now want to share these discoveries with everyone looking to understand their Millennial audiences better.


Millennials are a very special generation, because they are the first generation to grow up in a world with fully mature levels of technology and digital. Internet is very important for Millennial generation. Today in the post-pandemic society, millennials spend on average 7 to 12 hours online. Many having digital jobs and most of their studies online continue browsing the web even after the workday is finished. They go on, connecting to their friends and family, online shopping, googling things, reading, playing games and watching videos or movies.

We wanted to fully dive into understanding millennials behaviour on the web, so asked them 2 questions, that our clients often ask us:

  1. ​Mobile or desktop?
  2. Dark mode or light mode?

Mobile or desktop

User-first design is more of an axiom, as a it leads to happy customer, which is good for the brand and the sales. But should companies be focusing on mobile- or desktop-first design to keep millennials happy? The short and easy answer is – it depends. The longer answer supported by the results of our survey is that it depends on the company and industry, and on the purpose of use.

When it comes to work and studies, the desktop has won over mobile with a big margin. For the activities, such as watching videos, searching for information, shopping and other leisure related things millennials would equally prefer both desktop and mobile. However, when it comes to online chats and other social communication with friends and family, the choice for the respondents was clear – mobile, mobile, mobile.

We have no reason to disbelieve the data, but we would like to make a few comments. When it comes to online shopping, Google reports that most of the browsing happens on Mobile, but the actual purchase is done on Desktop. McKinsey confirms, and in the discussions on digital say, that when it comes to conversions desktop is number one, mobile web is second, and then the app is third. Similarly, our survey can be expanded in "watching videos" category. The millennials in our survey did not prioritize one device over the other, while in reality 70% of videos are watched on Mobile.

Dark mode or light mode

With iOS 13.0 and forward, Apple users were given a choice to adopt a system-wide light or dark appearance, and Android users recently received the update. This signified the new step in the mass adoption of the dark mode. We asked our research group and have found out that millennials in Europe prefer dark mode for the mobile (67%) and light mode for the desktop (79%).

Millennials are very quick learners and having grown up fluent in digital, has become the early adopters of many technologies. Will the dark mode be further adopted by the millennials in the nearest future? Uncertain. However, when designing for mobile companies should have a dark mode game plan. More interesting research on dark vs light mode was conveyed by Google.


Want to know their opinion on ePrivacy, personalisation and trust?

Find out more about these and the other interesting habits of millennials on the web in the full report:


About the Author

Alina Sidbrant
Alina Sidbrant

Alina is Marketing Innovation Lead at Arekibo. She is passionate about corporate entrepreneurship and strategy.