You’ve probably heard it before: millennials are a unique generation with unique tastes and preferences that differentiate them from Baby Boomers and Generation X. But did you know that these unique tastes and preferences are having a major impact on the retail industry?
“The millennial generation is the largest in U.S. history and as they reach their prime working and spending years, their impact on the economy will be significant,” Tom McGee explained in Forbes. “Millennials have come of age during a time of technological change, globalization, and economic disruption. These factors have given them a distinctly different set of behaviors and experiences.”
So, how exactly are millennials driving shifts in retail trends? Let’s take a look.
They Want Convenience
Given that they have grown up with mobile devices and cell phones, millennials have an expectation for convenience that other generations don’t. They want things quickly and when it is convenient for them. Retailers are increasingly looking to accommodate different kinds of payment to keep this group happy, ensuring they are able to purchase products in the way that is most convenient to them. From mobile wallets to self-checkout kiosks, retailers are rolling out all sorts of new payment means to accommodate millennials.
They Expect Personalization
Millennials have grown up in the digital era of personalized advertisements and recommendations. As a result, they want to interact with brands that understand their individual wants and needs. Increasingly, retailers are catering to this desire for personalization by leveraging customer data to deliver more personalized recommendations and experiences.
They Prefer Experiences – Not Products
Research consistently shows that millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences – like dinner, traveling, and shows – over tangible products. As a result, the way that brands interact socially with millennials is increasingly important. Brands are increasingly looking to offer millennials memorable in-store experiences by turning shopping into an enjoyable experience as opposed to just a means to an end.
So, what does this all mean? Millennials are a powerful force in today’s market, shifting retail trends in new and important ways.