The Millennial Impact: Changing of the Guard. IS YOUR BUSINESS POSITIONED TO SERVE THE 5 CHANGING CUSTOMER DYNAMICS?

Millennials are influencing key market trends in buying power and lifestyle development. Born between 1980 and 2000. Millennials have become the largest generation in the marketplace. This generation is both the 20th century’s last generation and its first truly digital one. Those aged 18-36 are 77 million strong, or 24 percent of the population, and they continue to control an increasing share of the economy.

Research shows that Millennials are not only transforming their own consumer behaviors but those of their parents, who are increasingly mimicking the demands of their children for seamlessness as they climb the digital learning curve. Understanding how their values play into their consumer lifestyle and purchasing habits will be essential to appealing to this generation of consumers. So, its essential to position your businesses channels and marketing efforts acording.

To give some idea of the stakes involved: There are roughly 80 million Millennials in the United States alone, and each year they spend approximately $600 billion. While Millennials are already a potent force, they will truly come into their own by 2020, when their projected spending in the United States will grow to $1.4 trillion annually and represent 30 percent of total retail sales. Millennials will have a major economic impact in our markets.

So what are the Millennial Market Dynamics…

DYNAMIC #1: TECH SAVVY
U.S. Millennials are extremely comfortable with technology. They are “digital natives,” meaning that they’ve largely grown up with technology and social media, using these new tools as a natural, integral part of life and work. Millennials consider themselves fast adopters of new technologies and applications, and they are far more likely than non-Millennials to be the very first or among the first to try a new technology. They also tend to own multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, and personal computers.

DYNAMIC #2: ONLINE SAVVY
Millennials are certainly very savvy online customers. Make no mistake: Online and mobile channels are important to Millennials when it comes to buying behavior, providing the information and insights they need to find the best products and services fast. Many hone their shopping skills on the Internet, to quickly search and find their desired need, checking product / service ratings, reviews or feedback to confirm that both product and vendor provide the best value and service, respectively. Millennials are more likely to use the Internet as a platform to broadcast their thoughts and experiences and are far more engaged in activities such as rating products and services.

DYNAMIC #3: EXPERIENCE ORIENTED
When it comes to shopping, Millennials demand an integrated, seamless experience regardless of the channel which means an effortless and seamless transition from smartphone to personal computer to physical store in their quest for the best products and services. They demand a customer-centric shopping experience—one personalized, tailored, and targeted to their wants and needs as valued customers.

DYNAMIC #4: SOCIAL CREATURES
Millennials are masters of social media. They view social media relationships with brands and retailers as transactional. U.S. Millennials use technology to connect with a greater number of people, more frequently, and in real time. When it comes to making purchases, Millennials are far more likely than non-Millennials to favor brands that have Facebook pages and mobile websites.

DYNAMIC #5: INSTANT GRATIFICATION
“I want it fast, and I want it now.”… U.S. Millennials are all about instant gratification and automation. They put a premium on speed, ease, efficiency, and convenience in all their transactions. These consumers are always in a hurry

Millennial attitudes in such areas as media consumption, social-media usage, and shopping technology are leading indicators of future trends. Businesses that fail to understand the dynamics of this generation will have a hard time competing in the years ahead. Staying on top of Millennial trends is critical because they will ultimately influence today’s big spending. To meet the expectations of this generation, companies will need to rethink their existing customer-service models and it’s critical to determine how you can get there. Businesses that pay attention today can gain valuable insights into tomorrow’s opportunities—and get a head start on capturing a larger share of the Millennial wallet.