Social Media Plays A Big Role In How Millennials Shop, But So Do Stores

Millennials Shopping

According to a new report, millennial consumers (18-34 year olds) are notably impacted by internet influencers and the people they follow on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Their daily use of Facebook is 77%, compared to 68% usage by 35-to-54 year olds and 52% of the 55-plus age group. However, their daily influence on purchasing behavior of Instagram is substantially higher. The daily usage by the 18-34 year old is 72%, 41% by the 35-54 year old and only 9% by the 55-plus age group. YouTube use compared to Instagram is more by older age groups. Less popular sites such as Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, Pinterest and TikTok (in decreasing order of use) are also listed with similar patterns of use.

The report on the 2020 consumer culture, just released by 5WPR, reaffirms that brick-and-mortar stores still have a role in the purchase channel. Dara A Busch, president of 5WPR, indicated to me how impressive showrooming is to sell merchandise to the millennials today. She pointed to Nordstrom’s Local stores in New York and Los Angeles as being effective communicator and she lauds Nordstrom’s display of fashion merchandise. According to the report, customers talk about how much usage they have gotten out of an item and how they did not know how they got along before purchasing that item. It validates that even something bought on a whim can become a favorite.

Fifty-seven percent of millennials discover fashion trends on social media, and they are expected to spend $1.4 trillion in 2020. They are the dominant generation using social media and the most likely to make online purchases. This group is shaping the future of how we do businesses. They are influenced by online advertising as well as the people they follow on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. 

It is important to note that 82% of millennials will buy a product for the first time to see if they like it enough. They make impulse purchases and are significantly more likely to regret the purchases that they have made (70% of Millennials vs. 59% of Gen X vs. 45% of Baby Boomers).

The report talks about purchases, yet we know that millennials want to own less and maybe they are afraid to be aggressive spenders. They would rather spend on travel and adventure rather than owning art or valuable antiques. Maybe it is their upbringing that prevents them spending big.  The report reaffirms that millennials are politically oriented and 83% of millennials affirm that it is important to them that companies they buy from align with their belief and values.

Retailers must understand their customers. They must know what they think, feel and believe to entice them to purchase a product. I asked Dara Busch, who in 2019 was the winner of a Silver Stevie Award for Women in Business, what the 5W were in her company’s name.  She said that it stood for who, what, when, where and why. I sat back and realized we would ask the same questions about millennials in order to understand them better as customers, shoppers and movers of our economy. The survey the company produces is a giant step in understanding millennials, the modern consumer.

Original Article – Forbes – January 21, 2020 – Walter Loeb – Social Media Plays A Big Role In How Millennials Shop But So Do Stores