6 Truths about Millennial Shoppers: Study

Millennials, consumers ages 18-33, behave differently toward brands than older generations because of instant and continuous access to massive amounts of information, according to a new research study developed in partnership with BeaconUnited, a national grocery broker, ArchPoint Consulting, and powered by business intelligence firm Black Pearl Intelligence.

The study, “Six Truths About Millennials to Power Grocery Chain Growth,” provides recommendations for grocers and packaged goods manufacturers to capture prized millennial shoppers.

The abstract builds on Black Pearl Intelligence’s grocery category social media study from 2012, which revealed an explosion of social conversations around the grocery business. “Grocers are being disenfranchised by other channels and even manufacturers who are establishing direct conversations with these important consumers,” said Bradley Nix, chief strategy officer and co-founder of Black Pearl Intelligence. “To remain competitive, the grocer industry needs to relate to Millennials through their prefer[red] communication platforms and provide the value and experiences this younger audience expects.”

The six truths include millennials’ desire for peer trust instead of peer pressure -- trust can aggregate and rapidly shift. User-generated content on company websites influences more than 80 percent of millennial purchases.

“As an industry, we’ve got to recognize Millennials have blurred the lines between conventional channels,” said Jesse Edelman, CMO of BeaconUnited. “Now, more than ever is the time to study ways to augment store offerings and give Millennials a reason to return.”

To build rapport and connect with the audience over time, a coherent social media strategy is required, according to the study. This includes sophisticated front-end listening devices and high-caliber analyzing tools to cull massive amounts of consumer-generated media from the social media landscape. In addition, proprietary tools and subject matter experts who know how to identify what’s important are needed, along with processes to divine actionable insights for purposeful outbound messaging campaigns that are deliberate and channel-relevant.

Other topline takeaways of the study include:

  • Millennials are digital natives who move seamlessly among various technology and are constantly engaged. Grocers need to offer a multi-platform approach to engage this audience on their terms.
  • Brands matter, but not in all categories. Clearly communicate your value, price and performance.
  • Millennials want to be liked but are also incredibly independent. Become part of the feedback loop and learn how to insert your brand into conversations in credible ways.
  • Experiential buying is very important to this generation. Create targeted, strategic plans that tie all your campaigns together for a meaningful experience.

“Research shows when it comes to shopping, Millennials want seamless transitions between in-store, online, mobile shopping and order online/pick-up-at-store transactions,” said Richard Spoon, CEO of ArchPoint Consulting. “They’re looking for digital synergy in their modes of shopping.”

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds