A Pew Research study recently found that millennials have surpassed Gen X as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Being more tech-savvy, better educated and highly progressive, millennials have completely transformed the consumer landscape.
According to a survey, 82% of millennials are now part of the decision-making process in some degree and account for an estimated purchasing power of $200 billion each year. This has compelled salespeople to use fresh and innovative tools, technologies, and strategies to win them over. Traditional sales channels are either being substituted or used in conjunction with modern-day technologies.
Currently, online media, smartphones and mobile apps are ruling the shopping arena. Eight-in-ten Americans are now online shoppers — 79% have made any type of online purchase, 51% have bought something using a cellphone and 15% have made purchases by following a link from social media sites. And millennials, on average, now make 54% of their purchases online. That’s staggering, isn’t it?
But is there a particular buying formula that millennials follow? What exactly is their shopping mindset?
Let’s try to reflect on how millennials, by and large, make their buying decisions and what the forthcoming trends are. This can offer some guidance on how sales teams should craft their strategies to be successful with this generation.
1. 60% of millennials believe in engaging in their own research process before getting into sales interaction, which appears somewhere in the middle of their buying process.
2. Millennials aren’t influenced at all by advertising, and only 1% who were surveyed agreed that a compelling advert would make them trust a brand more.
3. 62% of millennials are more loyal to brands that engage directly with customers on social media. Gone are the days of traditional loyalty programs!
4. 43% of millennials rank authenticity over content when consuming news, and 33% would review blogs before making a purchase.
5. 93% of millennials consult online reviews before making a purchase, and 41% make recommendations via social media.
6. 69% of millennial buyers are more likely to speak with a sales professional who has a professional social media presence. Instant messaging and live chats with company reps are also becoming commonplace.
7. In the future, 69% of millennials are expected to prefer email interactions with only 24% likely to go for in-person meetings.
8. By 2019, retailers expect one-in-ten of all retail sales (both in-store and online) to be made via mobile. Hence, 9 of 10 retailers are currently investing in mobile payment capabilities to stay online.
The above statistics and facts are clearly in sync with the fact that millennials have grown up with technology and expect to use it in every aspect of their life.
Overall, millennials generally begin their buying journey by researching the good/services online. Data analysis and reviews matter a lot to them, and so does their past personal experiences. They reach out to vendors at their own convenience somewhere in the middle of their buying expedition and love to explore social media, chatting, and other options before making a decision, and prefer to keep their interactions mostly virtual.
Given these facts, it’s important to offer millennials flawless online shopping experiences, trusted sales advisors, and detailed product information and reviews to make their shopping experience a delight. So, sales teams need to revamp their strategies to better connect with this generation and achieve a higher ROI. Happy selling!