Millennials shop differently

As true digital natives, Millennials use a variety of devices to get unprecedented access to information about products and where to buy them. They regularly tap into the collective experiences of their extensive social networks. Millennials spend 30% of their media consumption time with content created by peers 7 and 68% are at least somewhat likely to make a purchase because of a social post.8

On the whole, Millennials’ core values are similar to those of Gen Xers and Boomers. They are seeking value, convenience and simplicity. However, the Millennial vantage point is different. They care more about brands that are real, care about the community and understand how to communicate with them. They expect an omni-channel experience. They will call out brands and retailers that say one thing and do another, usually in a very public forum like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

  • c

    of Millennials are already parents5
  • b

    Millennial women are giving birth each day5
  • m

    $1.4 trillion
    Millennial purchasing power in the US by 20206

Grocery shopping is more task-oriented than shopping in other categories. Time-savings and simplicity are more important than discovery or connection. As a result, integration of social platforms is not as relevant for grocery apps used while shopping.9 Grocery shopping is considered more private relative to other “look at me” activities often talked about in social posts. However, the pre and post shopping experiences are a different story. For example, Target’s Cartwheel app integrates social platforms to engage shoppers and their networks as they build their shopping list. Saving money is a key driver for Millennials, especially when food shopping. When looking for grocery coupons and deals, Millennials use their smartphones differently than in other categories. Price comparisons and showrooming (researching products in-store then buying them online) are not as commonly used.10 They use retailer, couponing and recipe sites and apps among other digital tools, although the mix of tools varies considerably by individual. •    For those who search for coupons online, 83% are downloading coupons to their card before they go shopping and 64% do so while actually in the store. 11 •   Shoppers who access coupons on smartphones while in store get them from a variety of places: 10 • 29.3% prefer a dedicated couponing site or app • 28.8% prefer visiting the grocery store’s own site or app • 27% favored scanning QR or other scan codes • only 5.3% most favored going to the product brand site or app

Mobile brings out the Millennial in all shoppers

Smartphones have changed the way all consumers shop, not just Millennials. The fact that mobile is set to overtake desktop as the primary means of accessing the internet this year makes it clear mobile is being used for more and more. Millennials are leading the charge, but Xers and Boomers are quickly adapting their shopping attitudes and behaviors as well. Retailers are seeing that mobile-influenced shopping is an opportunity and have begun to embrace it. Walmart’s app detects when a shopper is in the store, and then presents relevant shopping tools such as a price check feature that enables users to calculate their purchase total before they get to the register, and a search function that helps them find products in the store.12 Omni channel solutions will go a long way to bring in Millennial, Xer and Boomer shoppers to brands and retailers.

Connecting with Millennials

Millennials are not a homogeneous group, but rather are a large group of extremely diverse consumers. To build a trusting relationship with Millennials, brands and retailers need to consider what is important to this target. Millennials are likely to connect with brands that:   ✓   Provide a good value for the money. ✓   Give them help and advice for childrearing and taking care of their family. ✓   Have a consistent and appropriate presence in advertising and social media. ✓   Provide messaging that is culturally sensitive. Half of all Millennial parents in the 25-to-34 age group are Hispanic, African-American, Asian, or another non-Caucasian race. 6 ✓   Enable them to participate in, customize or somehow make a message their own. ✓   Genuinely and consistently work to benefit a cause, or help make the world better in some way. ✓   Put out adventurous, fun and engaging content that entertains and they can share. They connect with brands who are willing to have fun and don’t take themselves too seriously.

Millennials are the future. Are you ready?

Millennials are the new Primary Grocery Shopper. They are a large force for CPG brands and retailers today, but will be an even larger force in the future. This is not a new topic, but one that many in the industry are not prepared for. Contact Shopper Nosh today to see how you can engage your Millennial shoppers.

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Sources: 1. Google ZMOT Study, 2012; 2. Ipsos MediaCT, Crowdtap and the Social Media Advertising Consortium, March, 2014; 3. “Mobile Engagement Solution: Push Notifications”, Message Systems, 2013; 4. Boston Consulting Group, bcg perspectives, October, 2013; 5. “Millennials as New Parents: The Rise of A New American Pragmatism,” Jeff Fromm, Barkley, 2013; And “Study: Millennial Parents Just Like Those From Previous Generations,” Ad Age, October, 2013; 6. Accenture, June 2013; 7. Millennial Mom Report, BabyCenter, 2013; 8. Webby Awards and Harris Interactive Poll, January, 2014; 9. “Getting Smart About Today’s Mobile Savvy Shopper”, Catalina Marketing, 2014; 10. “Moms in the grocery aisle,” Placed, January, 2014; 11. 2K14 Valassis® Shopper Marketing Report, February, 2014; 12. The Atlantic, "Get Ready to Roboshop," February, 2014; 13. Nielsen Trust in Advertising Report, September, 2013;