There’s one thing that we all know for sure—not all shoppers are alike. Thanks to big data, we now have a better idea about what shoppers like and what they don’t. Millennials, for instance, have some very strong tendencies in how they use the Web and mobile while researching and shopping, and also around what triggers them to make purchases. Companies that truly want to target millennials need to understand this, and target them accordingly, or risk losing this giant demographic. Let’s explore some points that will help brands cater to their millennial consumers better.
Mobile is the most-used millennial shopping device
This may seem like an obvious point, but I know too many brands that are not quite fully grasping this concept with their mobile strategy yet, and who have yet to get their websites optimized for mobile. Millennials are tech-driven individuals, and most importantly, a generation that’s extremely attached to their mobile devices. As such, it’s not surprising that they spent a majority of their online shopping time on their smartphones and tablets. From research to final purchase, millennials use mobile at different steps in their shopping journey.
With devices they can conveniently carry around, millennials are shopping faster, making smarter decisions, and clinching cheaper deals. A 2013 study, Global Mobile Media Consumption: Reaching Millennials shows that mobile advertising drives consumers through the marketing funnel faster. Some of the study’s statistics show just how millennials view mobile shopping.
- Seventy-nine percent of millennials surveyed said mobile introduced them to a new brand, product, or service.
- Seventy-one percent agreed that mobile ads provided better options.
- Seventy-three percent found mobile ads to be helpful in finding nearby deals.
- Forty-nine percent felt mobile ads influenced in-store purchases.
- And 51 percent said mobile ads influenced them to buy.
This means brands that have still not taken the mobile-first route are likely failing to capture the millennial mind share.
Millennials make real-time decisions
Millennials are incredibly fast in their shopping journey, thanks to all the information they can quickly access and scan. If brands wish to attract millennial buyers and influence their purchases, they need to keep up the pace. Therefore, using data analytics to understand the millennial consumer is not enough. Brands need to use those insights to deliver better experiences faster than their competitors. They need to respond quickly to customer queries, feedback, and any other interactions the millennial buyer has come to expect from businesses. In short, brands need to be more proactive than ever before.
Millennials prefer to shop via multiple channels
According to another study, On Solid Ground: Brick-and-Mortar Is the Foundation of Omnichannel Retailing, millennials, more than any other group, prefer to use several channels when it comes to the total shopping experience, both online or off. When it come to the retail landscape, the research found that most millennial customers actually preferred bricks and mortar stores for trials, testing, and returns.
A Deloitte study found that 19 percent of millennial buyers make purchases online before picking them up in-store compared to 12 percent non-millennials. This highlights the millennials’ preference to blend their online and offline shopping experiences.
In a world where the buyer’s journey is scattered throughout multiple devices and channels, it’s critical for marketers to be able to monitor and understand their customers’ behavior and experience across all the devices and channels.
“With devices they can conveniently carry around, millennials are shopping faster, making smarter decisions, and clinching cheaper deals.” DANIEL NEWMAN
Millennial shopping behavior is not exclusive to this age group alone. Millennial buyers are influencing the shopping activities of their parents, older relatives, and their Gen-X colleagues as well. This is why brands will need to make profound changes, not only in their marketing and sales strategies, but in their overall organizational processes. This might sound like a daunting task, but it’s a small price to pay to ensure you stay in the game.
This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. For more on these topics, visit Dell’s thought leadership site Power More. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.