Who is the Millennial consumer? How do they think? What motivates them? Why should I care? These are the questions many businesses have been asking themselves. In the past few years, there has been such an uproar in the public arena about the Millennial generation and what drives them to make their purchasing decisions. As of right now, Millenials make up the largest and most influential generation in the U.S. For growing businesses, understanding the Millennial, how they shop, and why it’s essential to keep them in mind while developing the customer experience, is vital to staying relevant in today’s market.

What is a Millennial? 

“Millennials are NOT tech savvy. They are tech dependent.” 

Let’s start off with the basics. The Millennial generation consists of anyone born between 1980 and 2000. According to the last Census Bureau, the Millennial Generation is made up of 88 million people, making it larger than any other generation including the Baby Boomers. Millennials were born in the Digital Age, learning on computers and mobile devices early on in life. This has made them overly comfortable with the feeling of instant gratification. They are disconnected from searching through Encyclopedias for information and no longer on advertisements to tell them why they should trust a company. Living this on-demand lifestyle, they have all the answers at their fingertips and don’t hesitate to use them for their benefit. Because of this surplus of product information and reviews from their peers, they feel very confident making purchases.

millennial consumer graph

How Do Millennials Shop?

“They are experts at finding alternatives, who simply won’t put up with bad user experiences that get in the way of accomplishing their tasks now.”

Over the years, consumer habits have shifted. Your average consumer isn’t solely relying on their in-store experience. The Millennial consumer is focused on their peers’ experiences with brands and the ease of subsequent online encounters. If your online platform doesn’t offer them a way to easily find what they need, they are quick to leave and take their money elsewhere. Recent studies have shown that 57% of online consumers will abandon a purchase if they cant find the information they need right away. Primarily shopping online, Millennials know they have a plethora of options at their fingertips. Providing customers with an updated and seamless user interface that honors them and their needs is the best way to win the trust of this generation. 

millennial consumers shop online

What effect do Millennials have on my business? 

“Millennials have greater self-awareness and focus, and desire to understand and define their place in the world and what it means.”

Being the largest generation in the U.S. today, Millennials hold a lot of purchasing power. They aren’t making the same decisions the Baby Boomers once did. They are marrying later on in life and aren’t concerned with buying property at a young age. This gives them more expendable cash to invest into products and companies that they believe in. Though it may seem that the Millennial is a ruthless consumer, once they find a brand they trust, they can be extremely loyal. When the Millennial appreciates a brand, they are avid about letting their peers know through various social media platforms. Similarly, when they have a negative experience, they do not hesitate to berate your brand through the same mediums. They are more concerned with buying products that are socially responsible and will reward companies who have these practices embedded into their business model.

millennial consumers on their phones

When it comes to this tricky generation, the most important takeaway is to hone in on their user experience. Making sure your business focuses on good design and a straightforward web and mobile interface is a sure way to gain the Millennial consumer’s loyalty and promote your own brand.