Millennials - Valuing Detail: Purchasing Behaviors

Goals

To understand whether Millennials value detail, perfection, construction, and finesse when buying durables or electronics. Specifically, to gather proof points that show that this matters to Millennials. Alternatively, to show data that indicates Millennials have an eye for detail in life in general which could include the detail in the pictures they take, the sound quality of audio devices, design details in clothing, jewelry, and devices. To be able to prove that Millennials do have an eye for detail in the things they buy today, but that "detail" may be defined differently now.

Early Findings

  • According to Pew Research, anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) is considered a Millennial.
  • The majority of Millennials are finally reaching increased buying power and marketplace influence. Given their history, millennials approach shopping quite differently than older generations do. This requires brands to understand their decision-making, priorities and consumption behaviors.
  • Millennials want their purchases to make them feel good. 60% of millennials tend to gravitate toward purchases that are an expression of their personality. The brand must speak to them at this level and make them feel good. Unlike baby boomers and Gen Xers, who consume based on quantity, Millennials value their dollar more and value products that meet both a logistical and emotional need. One way brands are satisfying this desire is by giving back in clear ways that consumers understand, such as “buy one, give one” scenarios by companies like Bombas and TOMS. This kind of model can help people feel good about their purchases.
  • Millennials place value on experiences. Half of millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences over material things, and they are willing to pay extra for it. In fact, many brands already recognize this and are turning to experiential marketing to try to connect. Basically, this encompasses setting up opportunities for interaction, both with the brand and with other consumers, often through special events. This can include things like meet ups in certain cities or virtual reality experiences.
  • Millennials shop with very little brand allegiance. Millennials have no problem trying new, innovative brands rather than turning to a brand seen as old and reliable. Research found that they are almost twice as likely to say this than Gen Xers. Their brand loyalty is low, even if the brand has worked for them in the past. Brands need to move away from the concept of how to “win” customers from competitors and, instead, think about “wooing” them, meeting them in the context of their own needs. The model needs to be reframed not with loyalty as a conclusion, but with the goal of giving the consumer a reason to connect and return.
  • This study suggests that millennials are a highly sought after market as they have "grown up in an environment where technology provides a platform for personalization and immediate gratification in all aspects of life." Because of this, the buying process for them is a time of enjoyment, where loyalty to the brands they purchase is relative. Also, millennials tend to spend their income quickly and more often through the web, and particularly through social networks like Facebook. Also, the results show that the millennials are more attracted by virtual advertising as coupons or discounts.
  • 45% of millennials spend more than an hour a day looking at retail-oriented websites.
  • When shopping online, millennials seek an “experiential” environment that offers more than a transaction. For Millennials, shopping is another form of entertainment like playing games, watching streaming TV, listening to music or reading. In fact, 52% of millennials are more likely to make spur of the moment purchases than any other generation. "Needless to say that if the experience you deliver is not fun, memorable, or meaningful, you’ll find purchases from this demographic to be declining."
  • Millennials are 216% more likely to be influenced by in-store touch screen displays. While millennials enjoy the convenience of online and mobile shopping, 82% do value the immediate gratification offered by bricks-and-mortar stores. Over 50% will still reach out for their smartphones to research products and read reviews when in store. Shopping is an omni-channel affair for millennials. One that allows discovering and exploring products on their smartphones, checking them out in store, completing the purchase hours (or even days) later on another handheld device, before picking up their new product in-store.
  • Over 50% of millennials use their mobile devices to research products.
  • 75% of millennials have at least one social media account and a fair share of them use it to inform their purchasing decisions. When it comes to Millennials, they rely on a much wider network for purchasing advice compared to other generations. For example, their purchasing decisions are influenced by five people, as opposed to three for boomers. Social media is one of their primary source to find out and hear about products.
  • Millennials like brands that make them smile. It’s 33% more important than it is to baby boomers. 59% of Millennials buy brands that reflect their style and personality and 40% of Millennials are willing to pay extra for a brand that reflects the image they wish to convey about themselves (compared to 25% of non-Millennials).
  • Accenture research concludes that Millennials are not only transforming their own shopping behaviors but those of their parents, who are increasingly mimicking the demands of their children for seamlessness as they climb the digital learning curve.
  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

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