The world has changed thanks to the dawn of the digital era.
We can argue whether it is for the better or not but we can’t dispute that the way in which society functions today versus twenty years ago is different.
For those children of the 70’s, we were brought up in an analogue world. We may have started life with a black and white television, saw the rise of personal computing and the internet age hit us later in life forcing us to adapt. Those children of the late 80’s and 90’s had a different experience. They were brought up in the internet age that abounded in technology that connected people like never before.
We are influenced by our environment and this demographic, commonly referred to as “Millennials”, require retailers to adapt to their digital savvy ways. Millennials came of age as the online shopping revolution swept the world. They adapted easily and felt comfortable with all that online shopping offered.
The shift to smartphone technology further deepened their online interaction and it was social media that cemented their thirst for connectivity and information. What all this means is that Millennials’ shopping behaviour is very different to what has come in the past, forcing retailers to adapt.
Millennials love their smartphones. If they are not playing Pokemon Go they are accessing social media or Googling. They embrace information like never before in a seemingly endless stream. Social media is a primary source of influence with information being shared, advertisement displayed, products being reviewed and rated and even purchases made.
Price is a critical factor to Millennials as it is quick for them to determine whether they are getting a good deal or not from a retailer. The practice of price comparisons from within a store is common, forcing retailers to look at other forms of discounting or price models. Offering a rebate on a purchase rather than a pure discount has been shown to be something that Millennials respond to whilst combatting price matching in a different way.
Having the ability to buy online and pickup instore is a great incentive to Millennials. They want to lock in the purchase now and save on shipping by picking it up at a convenient time.
When it comes to marketing to Millennials, a quick scan of your local shopping mall will give you an insight as to where you need to be visible. Smartphones have become and extension to the Millennials arm making digital coupons sent via SMS or integrated with Digital Passbooks a great avenue for attracting more business.
Millennials chase experiences. They enjoy going to specialist shops and that feeling that they are experiencing something very special. The experience is almost as important as the purchase so retailers need to consider their overall store experience beyond the act of purchasing. This not only attracts Millennials but leads to greater brand interaction and loyalty over time.
The moral of the story is that the habits of Millennials are growing as the internet generation grows and modern omnichannel retailers need to adapt to stay relevant to keep driving sales.