Millenials, everyone is talking about this disruptive buying group. They are the generational demographic born between the 1980s and mid-1990s to early 2000s. Also, perhaps the most misunderstood cohort. Some people consider them lazy in the workplace; a fact that has been proven untrue! Others view them as entitled, phone and internet-obsessed, and generally a hard-to-please generation. But are they?
Millennials and Consumer Technology
If you take the time to learn more about millennials–along with millenial shopping habits–you will find that most of these accusations are only misconceptions. In fact, millennials are one of the best generation groups to deal with if you understand them well. Millennial shopping habits are some of the most distinctive. Compared to past generations, their extensive access and use of technology in the process disrupts retailers.
Most millennials are educated consumers because they use the technology in their hands (the internet and social media) to learn more about products and services before making any purchases. They have increasingly adopted online shopping for fast and convenient purchases. They are also less influenced by traditional advertising than by online reviews and endorsements. Technology platforms influence almost all their purchase decisions are influenced in some way. And their digital devices (Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and PCs) are their most preferred retail stores.
And considering that they are the largest generation ever in U.S. history with more than 90 million members, millennials are likely to be your number one customer in this era. Plus, they are dominating the workforce and have a very substantial purchasing power.
Types of Millennial Shoppers
- Digital Shopper – Most millennials today shop online because thousands of stores have made it possible for them to buy products on the store’s websites and have them delivered to their home. Millennials consider this as the most convenient way to shop without a hassle.
- Brick and Mortar Shopper – Despite the convenience of digital shopping, many millennials still shop at the physical stores where they can touch and compare products before making purchases.
- Any Channel Shopper – The largest number of millennials lie here. They can shop online, at the physical store, or any other place that is convenient for them. In most cases, these millennials start by browsing through a store’s website before visiting its physical location for shopping.
Traits of the Millennial Shopper
If you’re looking to boost your e-commerce sales this year and in the future, it’s time you understand key millennial shopping habits and how to play them to your advantage. They will help you attract and convert more potential millennial leads to customers.
They are an educated customer
Millenials have access to internet almost 90% of the time. They have access to information on the internet through personal computers, laptops, tablets, and Smartphones. They use this access to educate themselves about products and services, as well as compare prices between brands, before deciding on who or where to buy from. Unlike previous generations such as Generation X and the baby boomers, millennials know what they are buying or subscribing to even before visiting a physical store.
If you want to appeal to millennials and millennial shopping habits, consider providing educational information about your products and services online. Potential millennial leads will find your content while browsing through search engines. They will then learn about your product, identify your brand, and most likely buy or subscribe to your service through that.
Millenials value honesty and legitimacy
As mentioned above, millennials are an educated crowd. They know what they are looking for and when they search for it on the internet, they expect that what you promise through your website or social media is exactly what they will get at the store, or is delivered to their home. Therefore, if you promise that your product has a discount online but when they come to your store they find the opposite, you lose them.
Millenials are also gurus at keeping it real with brands. Unlike with previous generations, adverts to Millennials should not be inflated with misleading or exaggerated claims. The millennial shopping habits lean into authenticity; which is difficult for some brands. This generation is quick at pointing out fake and overblown marketing so keep it real with them.
They fully immerse themselves in social media
Whenever the word “millennial” is mentioned, social media comes to mind. This generation is fully immersed in social media platforms. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat among others, they are everywhere! Most millennials admit that social media influences most of their purchasing habits.
One, they follow brands and take note of campaigns or offers so that they can take advantage of them. Two, they follow influencers (celebrities and other famous personalities) and make purchase decisions based on what they recommend. Third, they obtain most of their product and service shopping information from social media platforms through sponsored ads, brand pages, and friend’s referrals.
Actually, 34% of millennial shoppers said they prefer brands that use social media marketing to those that don’t.
They love to engage with brands that they like
Gone are the days when companies strived to make sales but didn’t bother about engaging customers. Today, the millennial generation wants a brand to connect with them so that they can feel like part of it. According to Forbes, over 60% of millennial shoppers actively engage with brands on social media or through their websites. Such engagement increases the chances of converting potential leads to customers.
Plus, millennials love to make suggestions to brands about their likes and dislikes. They also contribute in helping a brand improve its product so that it appeals better to their needs. Engage these shoppers online, and your brand is likely to experience colossal e-commerce growth.
They are price-conscious, but brand satisfaction matters more
Millenials will often compare prices between different providers before settling on one because they have the power to do so in their hands. However, while most of them report to being price-conscious, an even larger number admits that they are more likely to remain loyal to an expensive brand because it doesn’t disappoint. Therefore, if you make an effort to earn the trust and confidence of millennials through satisfactory products and services, they are likely to remain loyal to you despite there being other lower-priced products or services.
They love trying new things
Millenials are not as rigid as previous generations. They love experimenting with new stuff and are hugely influenced by what they see their friends shopping or consuming. This is hugely the reason why many startups today are coming out of nowhere and becoming big brands in no time. If millennials try and love what you are offering, they share it with their friends and media followers, and in no time your brand is all over the market.
In addition, millennials are more likely to make impulsive purchases thanks to their growing purchasing power and all things tech. A Gallup study suggests that 42% of millennials make an impulse buy at least once per month. And am sure you know that’s a good thing for you, right?
They trust referrals more
Millennial shoppers love looking for shopping recommendations from friends, trusted colleagues, relatives, and influencers. Consider utilizing the power of referral programs to the optimum. Have your millennial customers share your brand on their social media platforms and recommend it to their friends and followers. Reward them if you have to. You stand to gain much more than what you will spend in running the programs.
Also, target notable influencer marketers with a massive following of millennials inclined to your industry. Most millennials trust that what their celebrity “idols” tell them about products and services, and you can get many leads through this channel.
How Millenial Shopping Habits are Shaping the Future of Retail
Millenials are many things, but one thing is for sure; they are a great target market for you! Considering that they possess a significant purchasing power currently (about $170 billion annual purchases), you can’t afford to miss targeting your marketing towards this generation. Plus, the number of millennials with a substantial purchasing power is only going to grow and therefore brands need to focus the future of retail shopping towards this generation.
The habits listed above are only some of the many character traits that millennials possess. They are the basis of how millennials are shaping the future of retail, and brands should pay keen attention to them.
Interact with millennials more and hire several of them into your marketing department. They can contribute tremendously towards your efforts in understanding millennial shopping habits! Sign up for our newsletter to get more information about Millennial shopping habits.