Study addresses how Millennials make purchase decisions
Millennial consumers’ path to purchase is shifting and while this generation is often misunderstood, they are rapidly increasing in consumer power and influence, and according to a new Mom Central Consulting study, several key behaviors can help brands to better connect with Millennial wallets.
The report notes that 95 percent of Millennials don’t use social media to establish themselves as experts, and aren’t on a “quest to secure readers, followers, or likes,” rather use the platforms to explore and share, with 55 percent placing no privacy limits on their profile visibility.
Fully 59 percent of Millennials make product recommendations to share highly positive or negative experiences, yet half report that a bad review wouldn’t stop them from shopping at a particular store. This generation consults their personal network before making a purchase decision, more than any past generation.
The study notes that peers, friends, and co-workers act as the key set of influencers for Millennials, with peer-to-peer networks dominating their life choices. For example, when making technology purchases, Millennials rely most on their friend’s advice (66 percent), over their spouse’s/significant other’s advice (59 percent), or parent’s advice (37 percent). In-person word-of-mouth recommendations did prove to be most influential in purchase decisions.
So how do you better market to Millennials?
Mom Central’s CEO Stacy DeBroff offers five tips in her own words below, regarding how businesses can better reach the Millennial market:
- Understand the Millennial Purchase Path: Millennials don’t fall neatly into established categories, and they differ significantly from the generations that came before them. Where Boomers and Gen Xers followed a linear consumer journey, Millennials take a much more circuitous path – searching for information, browsing, and seeking reviews and recommendations – before making a purchase.
- Zero in at the Product Level: Despite their ongoing quest for information and opinion gathering, Millennials do exhibit loyalties – yet they center around the specific product level. To reach Millennials successfully, focus on individual products, rather than the larger brand level.
- Focus on the Experience: The Millennial generation gives a deeper meaning to consumer products and transforms them into personal experiences – for example, “trail runners that got me through my most challenging mountain run.” To better connect with this generation, brands can help Millennials see how their products will fit into their overall lifestyle.
- Think Visually: For Millennials, nothing represents their ability to share lifestyle experiences better than photos and images. To reach this generation, brands should create visually engaging online destinations for Millennials to explore and discover.
- Stay Tuned-In: Millennials have spent their lives immersed in technology and constantly connected to the world around them. As a result, their expectations of brands are higher than previous generations, and brands will benefit by keeping up with Millennials’ tuned-in lifestyles and preferred avenues of communication.