According to Merriam Webster, millennials are the people who were born in the 1980s and 1990s. They form the largest chunk of society now and will remain the largest until at least 2030. Therefore, they are the talking point of many important issues.
They have an especially large impact on the present consumer market. Millennials have quickly adopted to rapid technological changes, and that has made a huge difference.
But Why Should Marketers Bother?
Millennials are the largest customer segment because according to Pew Research Center, they are the largest generation in the labor force.
No wonder why they have a higher purchasing power and therefore, spend more. Multicultural millennials are spending more than $65 billion each year.
Millennials are more educated than the previous generation. This also reflects on their purchase decisions.
Companies are changing the way they handle customers just to accommodate this highly demanding generation. In fact, millennials, are helping improve the customer experience as a whole. They are the inspiration for the changes we see today in the consumer landscape. Let’s take a closer look at how.
1. They are a Mobile Generation
According to a study done by Statista, millennials spend an average of 223 minutes, or more than 3 hours a day using mobile internet.
According to another study by Pew Research Center, 92% of millennials own smartphones. So the smartphone ownership is much higher among them than previous generations. They are always on their phones. But they don’t necessarily like talking to you over phone. They would rather read your FAQs or chat with you.
Which means that the fundamentals of customer service have been affected or rather got a new face. Calling was the backbone of customer service until millennials changed that. Brands have had to rethink the whole customer service process because, after all, they still have to serve their customers.
These customers not only dislike talking over phone but aren’t entirely fond of being served by email. However, email is not totally abandoned. Brands have started using chatbots so that customers can freely talk to them whenever they need to.
Also, mobile app and mobiles sites have become mandatory for brands because millennials spend a huge amount of time on their phones.
2. They are Always on Social Media
In continuation with the previous point, brands also started serving their customers on social media using messengers and other messaging apps. Millennials are mostly on social media, which they access through their phones. 75% of 18-to-25-year-olds open social media apps every week. 70% of 18-to-25-year-olds report opening a messaging app every week.
Gone are the days when having a social media presence used to mean having a social media brand profile. Now brands always have to be there to serve their customers.
Here is an example of Netflix not only serving but also casually interacting with customers.
Apart from this, millennials seek opinions on social media before buying anything. 51% of younger millennials and 61% of older millennials think that if any of their friends posts about a brand on social media, it will have an impact on their buying decisions.
Keeping this in mind, brands have created different communities on social media so that consumers can discuss relevant topics at ease.
This not only helps improve the customer experience but also allows brands to keep track of the discussions. Thus helping them understand what customers are saying about them. It will also make the brand more contactable.
Millennials like to talk about their grievances with a brand on social media. Brands need to rise to the occasion quickly and address the issues before the news reaches a larger number of customers.
Brands also need to consider the Internet of Things, where different devices are connected and can be channels of communication. Convenience is everything for this generation and technology is their favorite pastime.
Brands need to learn to leverage both of these millennial characteristics to provide them a better customer experience. Google Smart Home is an amazing example of the IoT. No wonder why Google is making the most out of their own innovation by marketing their other products and also giving a platform to other brands.
3. Personalization is Their Personal Favorite
Millennials love customization. They like customized products and personalized communication, which can affect their perception towards a brand and their purchase decisions.
Here is an example of one of the favorite brands among millennials, Nike. They have an amazing product customization option called NIKEiD. The option to customize products according to each customer’s preferences is another reason why they are a favorite.
Millennials want it quick. They want to be served on the go. And millennials want you to be omnipresent and all these suggest that you must have CRMs on board if you haven’t already.
CRMs like Salesforce , Zoho , Salesmate, can help you have all the data at your fingertips, even when you are on the go. So you can easily use the data to create personalized experiences and send personalized offers that customers can receive on the go.
With the help of such tools, you can even schedule your communication at convenient times for individual customers. This is a great way to reach out to millennials with a hectic work and social life.
It’s important to note that millennials like customization, but they are price sensitive too. Personalization is preferred, but for a competitive rate. This is pretty challenging for manufacturing companies where production based on a prototype is always less costly.
Personalized product recommendations can help you retain these millennials. Abandoned cart reminders or even a thank you email with relevant products snippets can also get you some conversions.
Millennials don’t like anything irrelevant. They expect brands to do their basic homework before approaching them.
4. They Cherish the Experience
Millennials expect a seamless shopping experience, which starts with a great website and a noticeable emphasis on user experience. A complete package with either a live shopping assistant or a chatbot would appeal to millennials.
They also expect to get accurate search results and relevant product recommendations if needed. Their idea of a good customer experience, of course, includes easy checkout and an easy return policy with quick delivery.
Millennials like authenticity, and they like consistency and continuity. So businesses should focus their efforts on consistently delivering exceptional experiences.
Millennials are also called, “conscious capitalists.” They like the brands which serve the interests of all stakeholders including customers, employees, investors, communities, suppliers, and the environment. When spending money, they are conscious about where their money is going.
Unlike the previous generation, millennials like the experience of doing something good for society and the environment. According to The Millennial Impact report, they are getting more engaged than the previous year in philanthropic causes.
Companies are also putting in effort to connect their purchases with a social cause so that they feel good about it. Big Data Analytics Hires is a recruitment company who did a great job of appealing to a millennial audience.
These Changes are Mandatory
These changes are mandatory for companies because not only are millennials the largest age group in the society, they are also influencing their parents and other previous and subsequent generations. Thus, actually widening the segment.
Brands, therefore, don’t have a choice but to improve the customer experience according to the demands of millennials.
These changes are fundamental. To improve customer experience, companies are evolving into customer-centric organizations. Employees are also getting trained to serve customers efficiently and in a timely manner.
This generation, which spends more but also more wisely will definitely demand and expect more. To tap into these big pockets, follow the tips mentioned above.
Got any questions about millennial buying habits? Feel free to ask us in the comment section below.
We thank Shane Barker a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions for his contribution.