When we talk about millennials, we’re talking about that fickle and highly prized consumer group aged 20-35. They’re the least predictable generation, and as a result, brands have to work a lot harder to win their loyalty. The primary reason for this is that millennials grew up with technology at their fingertips. They are digitally savvy, making it more likely for them to use a mobile device as a tool for purchasing. Here’s what we know:
1. 40% of millennials shop online monthly. 30% of millennials shop online weekly.
2. 80% of millennials use their mobile device while shopping in-store compared to 55% of shoppers over 35. This could be to access digital coupons, research products or compare prices.
3. Millennials shop using their smartphones more frequently than tablets. In fact, 1/3 of millennials agree that their smartphone will become their primary shopping tool in the future.
4. Millennials are less price conscious than their predecessors, with 59% valuing price as their primary driver compared to 73% of generation X.
5. Millennials are more brand-loyal, with more brand-interaction than older shoppers. This can include liking brands on social media, recommending brands to friends or expressing their online identity through use of the brand.
Price is only part of the mix for millennials. Statistics show that price is beginning to take a backseat to more abstract, or grey criteria, such as authenticity, brand-reputation and convenience. This shows that even though millennials have higher expectations, thus raising the bar for brands, they’re actually willing to pay a premium for higher perceived value.
Don’t let this brand-loyalty fool you. Millennials expect their favourite brands to be more transparent about process, production and provenance. They expect brands to have an ethical edge, and can fall very quickly out of favour with a brand if news of badly-treated employees, corrupt CEOs or global cover-ups find their way onto their news feeds. Millennials, more than any previous generations are much more drawn to brands with products that empower people, donate profits to charity or have a sustainability focus.
Millennials place a much higher value on free shipping over discounts. This is the reverse of shoppers over 35 who would rather pay less for the product, but pick it up themselves. This is taken one step further when it comes to expedited shipping, with millennials more likely to pay for the privilege than older shoppers. Peer review feedback can be viciously influential when it comes to ratings for ease of checkout, so any online retailers that deliver product late, or with any level of hassle, fall out of favour very easily. Shoppers over 35 are more concerned not only with price, but with the knowledge level of the sales associates, indicating a smaller digital footprint.
Overall, brands have to work a lot harder to retain millennial business, but the ones that make the most effort, are sure to be rewarded with better sales figures.
In other words, if less people are drinking your lemonade, it’s probably time to change your recipe.