Girl with tabletMillennials are consumers born into the technological age and have grown up around handheld devices, desktop PC, laptops and the internet. They are comfortable using all types of devices and are typically active on social media.

By 2025, 75% of millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce – and they will have more money to spend than they do now. Merchants are already beginning to see a significant shift in millennial shopping preferences – both in-store and online!

The younger generation of shoppers prefer to pay using NFC (near-field communication) technology directly from their handheld device than a credit card. Subsequently, mobile apps are being actively used in-store.

A survey conducted by getelastic shows that 66% of millennials using mobiles for shopping are spending more than shoppers visiting physical stores. This is because marketers with a solid digital strategy can capitalise on visual showrooms that are noticeably seen by customers. In a store, offers can go unnoticed.

Consumer demands

Because they are technology savvy, millennials have high expectations of digital companies. They demand seamless transactions and a happy user experience whether they are online or in brick and mortar stores.

Don’t let the digital arena + millennial shopping preference statistics sway your marketing options. Like every other generation of shopper, the 14-35 group of shoppers still enjoy visiting physical stores.

The trend of shoppers these days is to visit stores to examine merchandise then check out reviews online before they purchase. Buying online is a convenience most of the time, not a necessity.

But millennials do expect seamless transactions across all touchpoints – which means installing means of buying and reviewing items in-store is going to become very important for retailers. Scannable barcodes and coupons on mobiles are already proving to be deal-breakers.

Customer loyalty and courting

Just because millennials are active on social media networks, it does not necessarily mean they are interested in engaging with brands. A survey by Accenture revealed shoppers only interact with brands when they receive offers they are interested in through social media channels.

The key word here is “interest.” The offers they receive directly must be relevant to them. When they are made to feel valued, millennials are loyal customers because they appreciate good service. Quality and cost are a priority of course, but so too is the overall shopping experience.

When treated right, modern shoppers are interested in loyalty programs that provide discounts and the younger generation do not mind being directly targeted by brands via email or text message providing the promotion is relevant to their interest.

What they will not stand for is misplaced ads or a bombardment of ads every other day. They want to be made to feel special so only send them personalised special offers or real-time information on new or discounted products.

The sooner online businesses bring their digital store and physical store in-line with modern day consumers the better. Marketers need to understand mobile shoppers and in-store retailers should install NFC systems that provide convenience, speed and vital information.