The Peaceful Transition of Customer Loyalty: Part I

 In Articles

These days, it seems the word “Millennials” can’t be said without hearing a few grumbles. I get it. Millennials are the first generation to have grown up completely digital. Attempting to “keep current” can be insanely exhausting – from new social media platforms to constantly changing trends. It’s hard to get a pulse on how we behave as consumers – and it is even harder to keep the pulse and secure our customer loyalty. Damn technology.

Welp, I come to you hat-in-hand, with a humble attempt to explain the millennial customer journey and our transition into being the most powerful and influential buying group. I am a wee 22 year old. And I’m here to tell you about my fellow “entitlees” and the steps we take as we move into financial prosperity. Because ultimately, we will decide what companies are worthy of gaining our loyalty. We will stay with those brands. And we will share that knowledge with our social sorcery.

1. Awareness: It all starts with social media

Millennials check their phones a whopping 150 times a day. How could we not?! We share purchases on Facebook, we Instagram our delicious meals, and we tweet our product reviews. We have grown accustomed to managing every aspect of hourly/daily/weekly communication from our mobile devices. And you wonder why we sleep until noon? Psh.

51% of millennials agree – we run our lives from our mobile devices. (It is hard, sometimes, to defend my people.) Knowing that, it comes as no surprise that we discover our favorite brands and products on social media. In fact, 55% of millennials cite social media as their primary source for shopping. Videos, visuals, and mobile sharing – these increasingly dictate how we seek new information.

2. Consideration: We are information enthusiasts

Scenario: A friend posts an Instagram picture of a product I MUST have. Not so much the color. And it doesn’t need to be the same brand but that is certainly where I will begin. The product, the idea – that is what triggered me. NOW – the hunt begins.

Is this the best price? How’s the customer service with the posted brand? Did others give it a good review? By summoning my inner Pink Panther, I research tirelessly to check product reviews, price, and all other options. I ensure I am getting the best product for my style and the best deal for my budget – a budget that will no doubt see an increase after my boss reads this.

What influences our research the most? Believe it or not, word-of-mouth reviews are still the way to go. Millennials are more likely to purchase products that are recommended by friends or family. (71%) Positive online consumer ratings are even better for us.(78%)  Social media personalities and brand profiles inspire us because we get to see the product in action.(53%) And lastly, price. Price will always play an integral role in our investigation. 41% of consumers “shop around” for the same product at a lower price point before deciding to buy. AKA Ballin’ on a budget.

3. Purchase: Our old friend Brick + Mortar is not dead.

Millennials are quite affectionate towards the internet. But don’t let the stereotype fool you. We mostly use the internet to find product information. 82% of us actually prefer committing to a purchase in a retail store.

Fully equipped with valuable product knowledge, 9 out of 10 shoppers know what they’re buying before they even arrive at the store. But more, we love physically evaluating our product before giving the credit card. We love touching it and feeling it and taking it home. We love the absence of shipping costs. In addition, 69% of respondents from a Nielsen poll thought in-store purchases were “most reliable,” and 68% said it was the “easiest” and the “most convenient” way to shop. A great social media presence and intuitively designed site make all the difference in our world.

Did you make it this far? If yes, your attention span goes far past the 8-second millennial average! Stay tuned – I will tie this all together next week when I conclude the peaceful transition.

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