Millennials, a quick googled definition describes the term as “a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.” Consumers between the ages of 21 to 35 spend $600 billion annually in the US alone. So it’s safe to say that this generation has an undeniable impact on today’s market and will continue to do so for at least the next 35 years. That is why it is vital that businesses understand the drivers behind the shopping habits and preferences that millennials have to better cater and prepare for them.
1 - Mobile
It’s no surprise that millennials are mobile shoppers. However, unlike older generations, millennials do the large majority of their shopping online and on the go. They buy everything from food to furniture wherever and whenever using their devices. Proving that businesses do not necessarily need to open shop on the busiest street in town in hopes of being convenient and accessible to customers anymore. In some markets there has actually been an increasing number of flourishing businesses that exist solely on social media sites validating the notion that having an online presence is deemed not just convenient to consumers but necessary.
2 - Money Conscious
Let’s not forget that half of this generation has just recently joined the workforce and the other half started working when the world was going through an economical crisis. Consequently millennials are somewhat price sensitive and majorly money conscious. A chunk of the time they spend shopping is spent on comparing prices. Millennials spend about 28 hours per week online and are always looking for the best deal. Today, online consumers have immediate access to shops from all over the world making competition between businesses a whole lot stronger.
3 - Social
Ironically even though millennials are infamous for spending too much time on their devices and not enough time socializing with the people around them, their purchasing habits are intensely influenced by others. Whether it’s online reviews, ratings or testimonials, social proof is a strong driving force that impacts this generation’s purchasing decisions. Businesses that have already realized this spend thousands of dollars online making sure that customer reviews are positive and encouraging. Many have even started hiring social influencers to promote their products on popular social media platforms such as Instagram. 33% of millennials look for social proof before making a purchase (Forbes x Elite Daily) and 51% say that being able to see consumer opinions has a greater impact on making a purchase decision.
4 - Information hungry
Is it ethically produced, ethically tested, environmentally friendly, sustainable and healthy? These are just some of the popular questions that a millennial would want answered before making a purchase. Ergo many businesses have begun to take initiatives that open a direct line of communication between them and customers. Some businesses have even adopted chat as a means to connect with customers on platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp. A study by Forbes x Elite Daily shows that 62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become loyal customers.
It is interesting to see how businesses’ strategies will continue to alter and adapt to the ever-changing behavior of their consumers. Technology certainly plays a role in the daily choices that we make and it seems that as technology advances and becomes more complex so will our purchasing habits. Nevertheless, it is those businesses which are willing to adapt to these preferences that will continue to survive and thrive.