Consumer experience holds the key for millennials

Millennials straddle the intervening decades of the 20th and 21st centuries with consummate ease. They seamlessly combine the best of both worlds in their purchase behaviour while being very selective about the brand and expecting a superlative shopping experience.
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Millennials — born between 1980 and 2000 — form the most amusing cohort. They stand at the threshold of quaint and cognitive. After all, they are the last generation of the 20th century and the first one, digitally.

Exuding mixed traits of baby boomers and Gen Zers, millennials throw unique puzzles to businesses. For instance, they may still visit brick and mortar stores or prefer human interaction, in some cases. On the other hand, they are also the proactive adopters of technology, chasing seamless customer experience from brands.

No wonder why brands often struggle to meet their expectations. But an amalgamation of both these generations is what makes millennials unique, or say, both difficult and easy to please at the same time.

An Accenture report focused on millennial shoppers says that the generation is very loyal to the brand that treats them right. It adds that they go for showrooming by examining merchandise at retail stores and then shop online to get the product at the lowest price. 89% claimed to have easy access to real-time information, which influences their shopping choices. It highlights the millennials are after a customer-centric shopping experience — one tailored to their requirements.

Millennials expect their brands to know them and use the information to make the entire experience quick, convenient, and personalised. Through their sheer size and preferences, they have disrupted various industries such as fast food, fashion, investments, and so forth.

Simply put, millennials chase a superior customer experience for every product and service. For example, the millennials – who used to shun immovable assets until now – are scouting for spacious homes to own in the post-COVID world. The teleworking routines are pushing the impulsive generation to go house-hunting in the outskirts of cities, although digitally initially.

Real-estate players can attract them by addressing their needs with offerings that best suit the whims and fancies of this generation. Maybe single-story units or homes replete with one-touch home management solutions for a hassle-free living experience that limits physical interaction with other humans, amidst the current scenario may appeal to them. Because the plain vanilla offering is just not millennials' style.

So how to go about this generation?

The values of each generation are shaped by the culture they grow up in. Understanding this culture can decode what’s on their minds. For any brand to connect, it is crucial to analyse what separates them from others and concoct a personalised experience accordingly. Here's what drives Gen Y:

Tech-Talk

Adobe 2019 CXM report suggests that younger consumers falling between the age group of 18 to 34 years have higher expectations on innovation. It also reveals that nine out of 10 individuals in the said segment will take action against an unsatisfactory online customer experience. They are more demanding vis-a-vis user experience, having grown up using digital technologies.

Broadly, Gen Y relies on emerging technologies. As per a report, 60% of millennials use chatbots as they are fast and intuitive. It may be because chatbots are proactive with their responses rather than anticipating one. Besides, millennials prefer a casual and conversational communication style.

Fortunately, customer analytics empowers chatbots to know the consumer’s needs and serve accordingly. Gen Y's affinity for texting over talking is the biggest reason for the success of social media and messaging platforms. This generation tries to engage more with brands that give superior chatbot experience and do not shy away from spreading the word when receiving a positive service.

Omnichannel customer experience

As known by now, millennials go for several touchpoints before zeroing in on that one perfect product. It often sends brands in a tizzy to meet their expectations at one stop. The good part is that millennials do not discriminate between online and offline shopping. For them, the experience holds precedence over the mode.

It pretty much explains why ecommerce is a flourishing industry. Integrating purchase information across different channels can help brands serve them better.

In short, hyper-marketing is the way to go. Using AI-ML, deep learning algorithms for customer profiling, reviewing their past purchases to understand their preferences, pockets, and API integrations can come in handy for this purpose. Regular customer feedback can help gauge the requirements of this mobile-first generation to give a quality experience.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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