The up-and-coming generation is bucking prior generations’ preferences, and retailers that don’t keep up aren’t likely to win the situation.
The new generation customers have a reputation for doing everything with their smartphones but the reality is different. A majority of them makes most of their purchases offline. 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases (Retailing Today, 2014). Retailers targeting to connect with the new generation customers need to connect the online with the offline. Brands must also keep up-to-date with the changing preferences of the new generation’s social media users.
Retailers wanting to convert the new generation shoppers should understand these five purchase influencing factors to understand the new generation’s purchase decision.
Social Media Influences Purchase Decision
From showcasing new purchases on Facebook and Instagram to tweeting product reviews, the new generation is about 3 times more likely to refer social media before making any purchase decision as compared to any other generation. They are more engaged and more visual. Majority of the new generation’s purchase decision is taken through social media only. For them, reviews from friends and peers carry a lot of weight. In order to understand the new generation’s purchase behavior, retailers should make sure that they are giving real-time experience to the buyers on all the platforms. Be authentic and encourage conversations on social media.
Innovation with Purpose
The new generation buyers are willing to try something new. They won’t become loyal customers until they are offered value in return for the item. Retailers need to make sure that the innovation actually makes the new generation buyer’s life easier or creates more customer delight by making the buying process smoother. Only then they’ll be able to gain loyalty from the new generation consumers.
Merge the Online with the Offline
Majority of the new generation consumers use the digital tools to pre-shop and still prefer to complete the purchase in store. 78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases. (Search Engine Land, 2014)
Rather than just capturing online sales, retailers should have a well-executed local SEO plan, make online reviews available in the store, and provide a great store locator. Email alerts for any special events in-store are also a simple yet efficient way of merging the online with the offline.
The new generation consumers are more visual. They have complete access to a brand through all digital channels. One of the most efficient ways for retailers to engage these consumers is by sharing their brand’s story in visual form. It’s all about visuals – videos & pictures. As almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. (Google, 2016)
Whether it’s a new generation shopper or any other generation, giving them what they want is the only way for a retailer or brand owner to have a sustainable business.