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Intro

It is widely known that at some point the boomers would retire and the millennials would take control of life and the workplace. That time is NOW!

There are people who were born between 1980 and 1999 and they represent a large proportion of today’s workforce and they are making drastic changes to B2B and in general in the E-Commerce landscape. According to surveys, 73% of millennials are involved in B2B purchasing decisions. As a result, B2B companies must keep the pace of the new buyer demands, especially when is in relation to the customer journey and e-commerce experiences. In addition, we live in a world that is increasingly active online, which means that millennials are “digitally savvy”.

So, what are the habits that we need to know about?

Online shopping has shown that 68% of millennials desire to have an integrated experience despite the channel. Integrated experience is the ability of a customer to have the services whether it is in-store, online or in mobile. So, what are the key aspects that companies need to have in mind when it comes to millennials?

Price: A crucial aspect for millennials, as studies have shown, is that they care about the price over any other factors like quality, brand, and availability when it comes to online purchases. Unless we talk about a unique or personalized product, millennials will look elsewhere for the price before they make any kind of decision about the purchase.

To give a specific example: Millennials love buying clothes online because they enjoy comparing prices. They may love a more expensive product, but they will go for a similar product being sold by UK retailer ASOS. This proves that unless you are a hard-core fan of the brand, you will choose the cheaper option.

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Loyalty: Many believe that millennials are not loyal customers. On the contrary, studies show that 95% of them appreciate the brands that make an  active effort to reach them via email with coupons and discounts. The difference in the Millennial’s mentality is that they love the personalization, targeted promotions, and discounts. To capture their attention, simply just make the effort to build a decent loyalty program
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Social media: Millennials love social media which could be a digital playground in which retailers need to interact. Studies show that millennials can spend up to 18 hours consuming products/services online so the marketing outreach is large. Concepts like targeted ads are key because they check brands and products, so active accounts mean that companies are in touch throughout the customer journey.

Mobile-savvy: Site needs to be mobile responsive because millennials value a good experience during their visit to a website. There are rumours that millennials have a lower attention span which means that if this is true companies must ensure that website should user friendly. Millennials always compare prices, read reviews whether they are in a store or online. As a result, companies need to provide outstanding customer experience and not only be visually appealing.

Involve customers: According to studies, 50% of millennials are willing to help the brands that love to develop new products. This involvement is not only building relationships, but it also means that they will purchase the products. So, companies that interact and take any kind of feedback into consideration are more likely to have a chance to acquire new customers

What are the changes they cause to the landscape?

Nowadays is not only about the technology (I.e. social media, websites, etc.) but it has also to do with attitudes of millennials towards the shopping process forcing the retailers to react. These changes are:

Delivery:  Millenials is a generation that uses instant gratification which simply means that they do not accept long delivery time. If we can characterize them, it is the Amazon Prime generation meaning next day or even same day delivery which increases the competition among the businesses. One of the YouGov research shows that 25% of millennials expressed that desire to have same day delivery and from this percentage, one third is aged 18-25. It is not science fiction that in the future we might see drone deliveries to meet these expectations.

Branding: Branding is getting far more advanced due to the ability to target demographically. Millennials are brand-aware, and they want to be identified with brands and aligned with their values. Ethical values weigh more than millennials who simply seek lifestyle values like a luxury.

Narcissism: Millennials are known as well as the “selfie-generation” and that’s why they are not interested in the wider world. For Millennials, to grab their attention is all about the customer experience by delivering them a rich, integrated and personal journey across all the retail channels they are involved in. Failing to meet these expectations could cause equal bad Word of Mouth in social media, On the contrary, immediate access to pricing and product information will give you an edge compared to the competition

Data: It is an element that many companies do underestimate in general because Millennials are more aware of the value of their personal data and as well do not forget the GDPR rules. According to the centre for the Digital Future, whilst 70% of Millennials prefer not to share their personal data, 56% are willing to share their location with companies in exchange for money off deals. Capturing and leveraging this data seems to be a fair value exchange along with enhanced services

Areas to focus on

Digital is the key

Many companies realize that millennials have done more than half of the buying process before they even contact anyone at any business if they do it directly. The independence and the freedom that they have found with the internet gives them the opportunity to approach any company when they want. If they do it, it means that they are ready to buy, and they expect as well from the company to be informed about the product and the services you are offering them.

Using internet research and vendor sites are the two major sources of gathering information about anything that companies offer and are the primary steps in the millennial buying process. 74% of the millennials say that buying/ordering from a website is much more convenient than buying from a salesperson and this decision has nothing to do with the browsing time in the website. A cold calling is no longer a prerequisite – digital presence is the key to approaching the millennials. With B2B SEO, blog and leadership strategy companies will be able to ensure that rankings are high. This will simply allow them to acquire new leads to start looking for products and services. In addition to this, an approach through marketing automation tools will give a sense of tracking existing and potential millennials who will consume content, express their needs through data. Automatically, companies will have a big advantage with a data-driven marketing approach to respond and cover existing and new buyer behaviours.

Customer experience is crucial

From research carried out  in 2017, millennials said that Amazon is the most essential App in their lives. Impressive right? So, they expect from their experiences to be more personalized as the custom ones. Some best practices that B2B businesses could adopt:

  1. Simplify the online process

It is well-known that usually there are many abandoned online carts which are fatal for many e-commerce sites. Amazon deals with this with its one-click process. By improving this aspect of the checkout design, you can gain a 35% increase in your conversion rates.

  1. Personalisation

Think about Amazon. It is obvious that companies can provide recommendations based on past behaviours and conversions and by offering personalized experiences they will likely to be to increase sales.

  1. Advanced search

You can tailor the search results to end users according to preferences and needs. Knowing that, it helps companies to adjust quickly offers to the customers ultimately drive conversion, by increasing their sales.

Obviously, the future of the retail and merchandise is one: the desire for convenience and the desire for immediacy in a multichannel world. This shift with the need for gratification are the key aspects that differentiate this generation.Millennial B2B buyer has defined what entails a great customer experience. Most of the millennials prefer to make online transactions, while more and more of B2B organisations upgrade their e-commerce platforms or they will do it within the next years.

If you are a B2B enterprise in the UK and considering a digital transformation you must guarantee the success for the next generation of buyers. Ready to learn and develop your eCommerce platform? Information is one click away!