Going Digital: How Today’s Youth Is Revolutionizing the Way We Shop
There is no doubt that the rise in digital technology and online shopping has revolutionized the way people purchase products. Long gone are the days where you walk into a concrete building without any previous ideas on which brands you intend to buy. In today’s digital world, we not only have the ability to buy almost everything we need to live without ever having to leave our beds (seriously, whoever thought of online shopping… I bow down to your greatness), but we also have access to information and reviews on every brand and product like never before. With the increase in digital and social media, users are demanding new ways for companies to deliver a better way of advertising. And driving this revolution is the Millennial generation.
As someone who is smack dab right in the middle of this age bracket, I took it upon myself to ask my twenty-something friends about not simply their spending habits, but their pre-spending habits. The results were not unexpected, but sure were interesting to see how the ways we shop are changing.
Out of twenty- five friends (all between the ages of twenty one and twenty five):
- 76% said they regularly purchase products online.
- 64% research online before making a purchasing decision. The number was higher for an expensive or high end purchase.
- 56% said they regularly search products on Instagram and look at the company’s social media feed before making a purchasing decision.
- Many said they find new brands or products on Instagram that they ended up purchasing.
Old Ways of Advertising Are Out
Gone are the days where cheesy infomercials and full pages spreads in the local newspaper are what captured people’s attention. According to Forbes only 1% of Millennials said a plain advertisement would make them want to purchase a product. Creative, authentic campaigns are what speaks to these customers.
Even discussing this with my friends, we all seemed to agree that none of us pay any real attention to printed ads, or lengthy television commercials. Rather, we love seeing brands post relevant things on Twitter, or seeing drool-worthy photos of their product on Instagram. Truthful, age-relevant, and authentic (I will bring this up a lot in this blog) content is what’s impactful among Millennials. If we see content we trust, more often than not that brand will become trustworthy as well.
We Love Word of Mouth… Just Not In the Traditional Sense
Millennials are brand obsessed: we love talking about brands we love! We want to tell our friends, family… and love the authenticity that is found by hearing opinions from real people, and not a group of employees. According to the 2015 Elite Daily Millennial Survey, 43% of Millennials ranked authenticity more important than the content itself.
The friends that impact our purchasing decisions are not only limited to those we see in person on a daily basis, rather this group is expanded to our online connections, most of which we probably have not, and never will meet. We use these reviews from people we trust as ways to research before we buy. This is where influencer marketing comes into play. Brand advocates who share opinions not only online but in real life gain a level of trust with Millennial consumers on the basis that they are normal, everyday consumers speaking about a product they believe in.
We Want to Be Included!
Recognition from brands is extremely vital today, and Millennials love being able to interact with brands and have them like, or even repost their photos. 62% of Millennials said they are more likely to be a repeat customer if a brand engages with them on social media. I can speak for myself, as it does give me a really good feeling if a brand that I tagged in a photo likes or comments on it. And more often than not I will purchase from them again. It’s simple, good digital customer service!
Young people today aren’t just wanting to interact with brands about their products they use, but they are more willing to be a part of that brand’s product development! If the most influential age bracket in society is willing to give you their opinions on that they want (42% are to be more exact), then businesses need to be taking advantage of this!
Even being part of it myself, the Millennial generation is complicated and fascinating, yet at the same time pretty simple in what we like and what keeps us happy:
- We love innovation, and new ways of doing things – our lives are constantly changing and so should your products and advertising.
- We love authenticity, and if you are keep it real, we will keep coming back.
- We love talking to others, and want recognition from brands as a way to becoming a part of the bigger picture.