The Millennial Approach to Purchasing

The Millennial Approach to Purchasing by Lalit Makhijani Chief Marketing Officer at Godrej Properties

A generation that is well known for their different approach towards life and unique attitude towards living is the millennials. The term ‘Millennials’ often comes up in every boardroom discussion about the next generation of customers. Born between the years of 1981-1996, this generation is becoming the primary customer for tons of products. This generational shift has led marketers to spend much time and investment towards understanding their needs to effectively communicate with them while being relevant to their requirements. Millennials have grown up in a digital first world with challenges that have been unique to their generation. In these years, information has been available abundantly, economy all over the world was in turmoil, and an uncertain future awaited them. These and many other factors have contributed to their distinctive approach and attitude towards life and spending.

The Millennial Approach to Purchasing
Lalit Makhijani Chief Marketing Officer at Godrej Properties

As the majority of buying power shifts towards this generation, it is essential to become attuned to their needs. Millennials are quick to adapt to newer technology, try innovative methods and above all, appreciate new approaches. This makes them the ideal customer for today’s evolving marketplace. But what entices them and keeps them tuned into any brand? Let’s take a look.

Millennial World Is Digital

In more ways than one, millennials are dependent on the internet for their purchases. In a March 2017 report, Morgan Stanley estimates that the current 38% countrywide Internet penetration will increase to 60% by 2020, with 90% of them connected by smartphones. This will definitely lead to an increase in the online customers numbers. The burgeoning e-commerce platforms are already famous amongst the youth because of their rock-bottom prices, enticing deals and fast deliveries. But does this mean that brick and mortar shops should be shutting down? Absolutely not. Millennials also value experience over costs.

The Experience Matters

A customer centric experience, a superior purchase journey, and thoughtful communication can get millennials to your store. Offering them a chance to experience something that they cannot find online is a good starting strategy. Many brands are moving on from sponsoring events to organizing them in their store. This not only gets the customer to the store, but also deepens the connection with them. Experiential marketing is here to stay while this generation is calling the shots.  Create experiences, bring your brand and product to life.

Opportunity For Self-Expression

Unlike the Gen X who placed importance on quality and value-for-money while buying a product, millennials consider purchases to be an opportunity for self-expression. Products that offer customization and brands that showcase the same values as their own are more likely to get their attention and business. For Gen X, certain purchases were indicators of success and achievement in life; especially purchases that required a higher level of investment and financial commitment. Millennials on the other hand, look at these purchases as a medium of self-expression. For millennials, feeling good about a purchase matters too. This explains impulsive purchases and changing loyalties. Brands have to actively and consistently work towards keeping them engaged and attracting them to be return customers. As this generation places a premium on experiences, one bad experience can be the end of their association with a brand. While communicating and marketing to the millennials, it is crucial to remember the differences and even the similarities between them and the earlier generations. Instead of a sell, this generation demands that each brand creates an association that they can be proud of, while sustaining it for a long time solely based on merit.

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