Given that smartphones and the internet are more widespread and popular among millennials than any other demographic, it is hardly surprising that this group is leading changes in purchasing trends.
It is essential for retailers to understand how to appeal and attract this demographic. They are smart shoppers who have grown up in a post-recession era. These people are always looking out for the best deals, and use phones to get the best value from shopping experiences. There are plenty of shopping habits when it comes to millennials, yet only a few of these habits actually stand out.
1) Social Media is #1
When it comes to shopping information, social media platforms reign at #1 and are widely used by millennials to research brands, look at products, read reviews and, all in all, decide whether or not to make a purchase. With the rise of social commerce, many millennials are using social media platforms themselves to finalize purchases.
Pretty much every millennial is connected to social media in one way or another, and they are using it as primary means to find out information about products, deals, and shopping news. Traditional methods of advertising no longer reach millennials as much as they once did, and they fall behind digital advertising by a staggering margin.
2) Millennials are Price-Sensitive
When it comes to price, millennials are very sensitive. Price, among most other things, has the single most significant influence on a millennial’s decision to make a purchase. In fact, the price is much more important than quality, brand, availability, and store. This has made the discount strategy very popular, and businesses with a good discount strategy are almost always more successful than those who are not. Some, like Groupon, is actually based on offering discounts for local products and services, so by offering a Groupon discount code they actually generate revenue, while at the same time offering you a good price on something you need.
This is surprising because a growing economy has been thought to decrease price-sensitivity, however, millennials are obviously going against this trend. Why is this so? We are not so sure, but we are confident that it has something to do with the fact that a millennial, like the rest of us, can immediately pick up a phone and compare prices.
3) Millennials are Loyal
And they love loyalty programs. Although millennials aren’t likely to be as loyal to a brand as an older person, most of them belong to some form of the loyalty program and are more likely than any other age group to sign up to one. By creating a value-added transparent loyalty program, businesses can appeal to millennials in a way that is usually ignored.
4) Where Do They Shop?
Millennials have a reputation for using phones do to pretty much everything and, although we would expect this to mean that they use them as primary means of purchase, most of them make the majority of purchases offline. Only around 33% of millennials use computers or phones for purchases. Studies have shown that more millennial women shop in physical stores than men, but this can be contributed to the nature of what women buy (clothes vs. hard goods).
Older millennials and younger millennials (30-35 and 20-25) are very different, though. Younger millennials are more likely to conduct a purchase in a physical store whereas older millennials are more likely to make a purchase online. One thing where millennials and non-millennials are alike, though, is about price – over 80% of them were found to be influenced by price.
5) Do They Care About Brands?
The majority of millennials will follow brands on social media, and this will be the primary way they connect with them. Although there is a degree of brand loyalty here, this is where it ends; the majority of millennials are price-sensitive and would happily abandon one brand in favor of a cheaper alternative.
Most millennials surveyed admit they only follow brands on social media so they can take advantage of discounts and promotions as soon as they are active. Over 30% of them say they would switch to a brand offering a discount. What this means is, just because you are a big brand does not mean that millennials care about you and are willing to sing you high praises; as soon as a better deal comes along, you will be but an afterthought.