Does the Millennial Path-to-Purchase Impact Your Business?

Millennials, the most studied cohort of humans so far. But why should you, a business owner, care about millennials and their meticulously studied habits?

Because Millennials are consumers.

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Not only are millennials smart consumers, they are the largest living generation in the United States so far.1 Meaning, if you don’t adapt your marketing strategies to fit millennials, you could be missing out on the largest group of consumers about to take over the economy.

In order to reach this plugged-in generation, you need to understand how the Millennial path-to-purchase has changed, and how to utilize it for your business.

Path-to-Purchase

The path-to-purchase refers to the habits most consumers goes through from the time they see a product, whether it be in-store, online, or advertised, and the time they actually purchase the product to take home. Here is an example, but I’ll explain. The path-to-purchase continually evolves with time and generations. It’s not so hard to imagine that the buying habits of your grandparents may be different from the buying habits of your little sibling.

For example, in previous generations, a consumer may enter a store, talk to a salesman, and purchase a product. Boom, end of path-to-purchase.

Whereas the path-to-purchase for a millennial might be something like: a consumer sees a product on social media, and investigates it. They might read some reviews or see what others are saying on social media about the product. Then they might go look at the product in the store, but wait to purchase it online at a better price. They might check your website AND your competitor’s website to compare prices, brand values, and reviews before they finally decide to make a purchase. Wait, we aren’t done yet. Millennials are more likely to share their experience with an online review or on social media, creating a self propelling circle of advertisement…If your brand has a solid online presence.2

How can you utilize this purchasing cycle?

Get Connected

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Millennials are much more active with their phones than previous generations. As of today, 62% of Millennials like when they can interact with brands on social media. On top of this, 60% of millennials are brand loyal. Meaning if they feel they align with your brand’s values, or they feel valued when they interact with your social media, they are more likely to stay a loyal customer to you.3 Think about it, stopping for a moment to look up a business and their product reviews on a mobile device is much more instantaneous than driving home and trying to find it in the latest Consumer Reports Magazine. 

As a business, not only do you need to be online, your site needs to be mobile friendly. Millennials are more likely to look up products & reviews on their mobile device than any generation before them. And over 90% of overall traffic to websites is now from mobile devices.4 In order to move with the crowd on this one, you need to be intentionally interacting with your customers on your social media platforms, have a killer mobile site, and keep them both up to date.

Reviews & more reviews

In today’s digital world, the review is the golden ticket to ROIs. Remember what I said about millennials being the most plugged-in generation? The path-to-purchase process does not end after a millennial takes your product home. Millennials are serious about reviews, giving and reading them.

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Millennials most likely saw their parents, family, loved ones affected by the recession. And they are careful with their money because of it.6  They do not want to waste their time valuing price over quality which means that you need to gain their trust before they buy your product. Reviews are the best way to get first hand accounts regarding the quality of the product after a fellow consumer has purchased it. 

If you have no reviews at all, you may seem less trustworthy than your competitor that has a bad review here or there, but is receiving steady feedback from customers.

As a business, you’ll need to get some reviews circulating. Remind customers to give you reviews — and if they are on social media you can respond!

Summing up

The world is changing, and your marketing strategy should move with it in order to keep your customers loyal and your ROI on the rise. Millennials are just starting to enter the market. They are getting jobs, paying off college debt, and on the hunt for houses, lifetime investments, cars, you name it. About to take the economy by storm. Don’t you want to be ready?

Making a change in your marketing strategy can be a bold move for your business. If you’re interested in seeing what a digital marketing presence can do for you, contact us today! Art Unlimited specializes in strategic digital strategy to improve your ROI regardless of the generation you’re looking to reach.

 

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