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The Millennial Enigma: Explained

Millenial couple using computer

Shopping Millennials seek access, not ownership – and that’s exactly what they are getting. Trends have been moving away from investments in houses, cars, and luxury items and towards services that provide access to these assets without the burden of ownership. Popular examples include:

Spotify – allows access to nearly unlimited streaming music (free, at the cost of watching ads).

Netflix – allows access to millions of hours of streaming television and movie content for a small monthly fee.

Google Search – sifts through billions upon billions of webpages to find desired content in milliseconds.

The pattern between these: low-investment, instant gratification, and high content and variability.

Low Investment

Most Millennials are still in their youth, meaning they  are broke young professionals, college students, or still dependent on their parents. They also are putting off living alone and getting married later than any generation before them. This is likely a result of extended life expectancy and the rising cost of living. With every virtual purchase, Millennial buyers’ cost of switching is the click of a button. Price shopping is done automatically in some situations. These low switching costs have made buyers less brand-loyal.

Instant Gratification

Shipping-to-home was once a novelty, then came 3-day shipping, and now next day shipping is expected. Information moves even more quickly, software or digital content can be retrieved at home in minutes. To communicate a text message or Snapchat can elicit a response in seconds. To find a question’s answer Google or Siri can inform you in the same split-second time. Pondering to think has become unnecessary (so long as your internet connection is good) and somewhat of a pain. To go to a website that is tough to navigate or tedious to browse through will disinterest this generation quickly because Google said that there are many other millions of sites with the same functionality.

High Content and Variability

With every change in taste there are a variety of spin-offs or versions. There isn’t just a pink iPhone, they also have to make blue, gold, and everything else in between. As possibilities have become more accessible through efficiencies in manufacturing, they become wanted and eventually demanded by consumers.

This generation’s taste changes at an exponential rate, and their buying habits have responded. The 80+ million Millenials in the United States as a group have high buyer power and high expectations to make a transaction. Their short attention spans and ease of research means that they need to be intrigued and convinced quickly and clearly.

If you found this interesting, you may also want to read Are You Where Your Customers Are? Thoughts from a Millenial Shopper by Dara Daly.

To find out how you can improve your processes to impress the Millenials, contact the retail professionals at ArcherPoint.