Reaching the Millennial Consumer
Millennials — the group of young, up-and-coming consumers in their post-college 20s to early-30s — now represent the next rising generation, rapidly increasing in consumer power and influence.
Despite becoming a prime focus of retailers, millennials remain among the least understood consumer sectors. To gain more in-depth insight into millennials, Mom Central Consulting embarked on a groundbreaking study of 1,100 American millennial women. For this research, we surveyed women without children in order to glean insights from the data about millennials as singletons. Today, with more and more women putting off marriage and kids, there's a growing group of non-moms from their mid-20s to early-30s who find themselves with relatively large disposable incomes.
There exists a huge amount of misinformation in the market about this generation. The millennial shopper, as she navigates the world of digital and offline information, demands new sources and a new set of rules. Though her customer journey may seem multifaceted and circuitous, for these women an overload of recommendations and facts is just how they like it.
Millennials often take the "long road," involving inspiration, browsing, education, fact finding, and opinion gathering — all overlapping with one another. They embark on meandering paths of purchase that combine personal aspirations with crowdsourcing and product comparisons. They embrace a strong sense of self and believe they make their best decisions using any available information. As retailers, you see them as consumers deeply influenced by the world around them.
As retailers look to sell to the influential millennial market, what's the best way to reach this generation? Here are three key takeaways:
Millennial purchase path stands in stark contrast to a traditional consumer approach. Our research into previous generations (gen X and tail-end boomers) has shown these consumers follow a highly linear journey — from traditional to word-of-mouth, from awareness to purchase.