Millennial Madness & The Omni Channel Experience: Key Insights

Here’s some millennial math.  The millennial generation – children born between 1982 and 2002 – are now some 81 million children who have taken over K-12, entered college and the workforce. Millennials have surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation in the U.S.  This demographic – more connected and media savvy than any previous generation – is rapidly emerging as the most influential generation of consumers in the omni-channel arena.

Of course, boomers continue their stronghold on spending power, controlling nearly 70% of all disposable income and spending $3.2 trillion each year.  But millennial spending is on the rise.  In fact, it’s estimated that by 2020, millennial spending power will surge to an estimated $1.4 trillion annually. But more than just their growing spending power, millennials are driving when, where and how to engage with the brands they support and the products they want to buy.  Of course, this means more time going online and mobile.

  • 67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen X-ers prefer to shop on online rather than in-store. (Big Commerce)
  • 41% of Baby Boomers and 28% of Seniors will click to purchase. (Big Commerce)
  • Millennials and Gen X-ers spend nearly 50% as much time shopping online each week (six hours) than their older counterparts (four hours). (Big Commerce)

We think successful brands will be those that effectively capture the millennial’s attention, loyalty and lifetime value.  For emerging brands, this means focusing on creating the most effective omni-channel experience.  Here are a few key insights that can help.

  1. It’s Always Mobile First.

Smartphones have become the mainstay of online shopping.  They are the dominant method for millennials to connect to the web.  They’ll research products online before buying so the online channels are really the first touchpoint.  They’ll check social media.  They’ll look for reviews or commentary.  As a result, brands need to make their digital mark, or risk losing both online and offline sales.

  1. Virtual Assistants are Part of the Conversation.

Voice enabled smart speakers are expected to reach 55% of U.S. households by 2022 with most usage occurring on smartphones (5 billion assistants installed on smartphones worldwide by 2022). And today, millennials are the prime target.  In fact, thirty-five percent (35%) of younger Americans have used an assistant to make a purchase in the past six months.  So, make room for Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and others.  The most effective omni-channel strategy will leverage this technology.

  1. The Shopping Experience is a Broad Experience

Creating an integrated, seamless shopping experience is key for Millennials since they’re far more likely to use a variety of shopping options.  We know their propensity is to buy online.  But it also includes buying in-store and shipping to their home; reserving a purchase online and picking up in a store.  It’s about being able to effortlessly transition from smartphone to tablet or PC to a physical store.

Today’s truly great suppliers are proactive and innovative, recognizing that today’s changing demographic represents a vast opportunity for businesses to improve their relevance and expand their market in the online world. Innovit is the partner to help them seize it.