3 characteristics of millennial consumers
In a previous post, I mentioned that e-commerce is developing at a rapid rate. Whether for businesses (B2B) or individuals (B2C), e-commerce is expanding, and it’s changing both business processes and delivery patterns.
One reason for this change, besides digital transformation, is the growing number of millennials in the workforce. They are now the largest working generation and occupy 20% of senior positions. So it’s no surprise that decisions are influenced by their digital habits. Again, based on a report by Google, nearly half of B2B buyers are millennials. That’s why it makes sense for businesses to adapt their processes and communication methods to this particular target. But how do you meet the needs of millennials? How do you communicate with them? We’ll help you figure it out!
Millennials: Who are these new consumers of technology?
The term millennials refers to the generation of people born between 1980 and the late 1990s, the era that marked the beginning of the technological revolution. This generation is now in the workplace and has been shaped by the digital revolution, both in terms of habits and ways of thinking. Millennials are multitaskers, they’re comfortable with evolving technology, and they love instant solutions like, for example, chats. So they expect intuitive interfaces and self-service options while shopping (guides, how-tos, etc.) and the ability to buy anytime of the day or night, and any day of the week.
3 characteristics unique to millennial consumers
While millennials are abundant in the workforce, they also make up a large portion of B2B consumers. That’s why it’s important for businesses to understand what makes them tick, so that they can meet their needs as consumers.
Here are 3 key traits of millennial consumers:
- Tech buying experience: Millennials want their buying experiences to be digital and personalized. It’s important for vendors to use digital tools in order to provide them with relevant information to guide their purchases. But in addition to that, the personalized connection is crucial to them: 79% of buyers indicate that it is important for salespeople to serve as trusted advisors. This is a role digital purchasing platforms can fulfil more effectively through relevant, customized content.
- Social and mobile habits: Not surprisingly, millennials are big consumers of digital communications, such as email. At the same time, they’re huge users of social media, instant messaging, wikis and blogs—many of the tools they grew up with. Yet millennials love mobile most of all: 42% of B2B consumers now use mobile devices to make their purchases. Furthermore, 60% of buyers claim they might change brands if the mobile experience is unpleasant.
- Multichannel communications, now more than ever: In addition to email and intensive use of mobile and social media, millennials love videos and illustrations. YouTube is the media most used by the new generation of consumers. Further, a 2017 report by Forrester indicates that digital natives prefer short bursts of information, often in visual formats. But millennials also still appreciate direct mail: 75% of the millennials surveyed by InfoTrends consider paper catalogues useful. And 65% of those surveyed said they had bought something found in a catalogue in the past three months.
On the other hand, companies should not abandon their brick and mortar stores, but rather have an appropriate mix of online and offline offerings: 60% of the new generation of shoppers prefer to purchase in stores (Accenture). Nonetheless, 46% will check in store to get more information before buying online.
How millennials affect businesses in terms of staffing
The amount of millennials in the workplace also affects your business as an employer. Millennials especially like employers who are technology-oriented. A Survey Monkey / Microsoft survey found that 93% of workers consider that a company with up-to-date technology is a significant factor in choosing a job. Moreover, a report by Penn Shoen Berland demonstrates that 42% of millennials are prepared to leave a company if it has substandard technology. So be forewarned!
But the diversity of labour profiles tends to complicate things for companies in their role as employer. By 2020, most companies will have four, or even five, different generations working together. So that will require technological adjustments, as well as new strategies to consolidate the various needs of each generation.
Whether you want to respond to the needs of your customers or your employees, it’s important to have a strategy to digitally transform your business processes. At Objectif Lune, we know how baffling that can be. That’s why we support companies as they embark on their digital journey, at their own pace and without changing all of their systems! Feel free to contact one of our advisors to find out how we can help!