As expected by their birth years, millennials – the 20th-century latest generation, are taking over the purchase market, with spending power which Accenture estimates to be around $600 million per year in the USA alone. This first truly digital generation is still expected to have a major impact on the sales and the economy in the years to come and to keep or improve their positions on the market, companies will have to embrace millenial shopping trends and adapt to their shopping habits.
Optimize for mobile
Millennials make most of their shopping online. They are looking to get the best value for their money, so they like to check product reviews and ratings thoroughly, as well as compare retailers before they make their purchase. They also crave for integrated experience on all channels they use, and providing them with seamless transition from their mobile phone to PC, and then to the physical store is essential when it comes to keeping their user satisfaction levels high. When it comes to their mobile phones, recent research has found that millenials make more than 36% of purchases using mobile devices alone, so having your e-commerce store or website optimized for mobile-first is no longer a nice perk to have, but a necessity.
Make your shopping experience consistent
But the story doesn’t end up there. Even though they often purchase online, they still prefer to shop in the physical store, where they can touch and feel the merch they plan to purchase. They usually come to stores well-prepared and ready to buy, expecting to find the same prices and discounts available online.
A single obstacle, such as having to print out their coupon before shopping, could kill all the magic for a millenial, and turn them to another retailer. As they want physical stores to function as effortlessly as the online shopping does, consider making discounts consistent through all your touchpoints, and make contactless payments and mobile coupon scanning capabilities a part of your offline store regular service too.
Consider implementing AI
48% of millenials would pay a premium for hybrid human-bot customer service, as they would lead to quicker and more personalized transactions, while 53% of millenials prefer to find details online than to communicate with the store staff. Such data on Gen Y should teach companies an invaluable lesson –early adoption of machine learning and AI is a tremendous opportunity when it comes to answering the needs of millenial buyers.
You’ll need influencer strategies
When it comes to purchasing, millenials tend to trust experienced and like-minded strangers more than they trust their friends and families, and certainly more than they trust brands. Even when they use social media channels to connect with brands, they do it for the sake of benefits, either to get deals or special offers and not out of brand loyalty.
Companies looking for ways to keep up with their millenial customer trends need influencer strategies to thrive and partnering with a highly respected person in your industry can either make or break their business. Still, not every purchase recommendation needs to come from a VIP. For certain purchases, such as choosing the right vape e-juice, millenials value authenticity first, and they’ll more likely to trust nano-influencer in their own circles than a few words coming from a famous Kardashian.
More user-generated content
Millennials know when they are being sold to, they want to be heard and they demand brands to answer their needs. In these conditions, traditional marketing strategies and advertisements are becoming surpassed. In order to build trust in their consumers, brands are switching the focus to leveraging the user-generated content, engaging the millennial crowd through different contests or competitions.
Companies are giving them a chance to let their story be heard, but at the same time count on them to spread their influence, by posting their relatable real-life images others can relate to. Research by content company Olalpic has found that 50% of millenials already produce content and use hashtags to communicate their brand preferences to their networks, so why not put this content in good use?
When planning how to best keep up with millenials, try to follow these trends and wherever possible, adapt. Still, keep in mind that millenials make a very diverse crowd and that their habits are changing too, so keep a steady eye on their behavior and your generalizations to the minimum.