When competing against larger, better-financed competitors, small businesses need to take advantage of every tool available to them. Small businesses need to be more agile and make better decisions because they have less room for error. This is true for a bricks and mortar business as well as those marketing strictly online.
Businesses, especially smaller ones, need to stay ahead of the trends in marketing and advertising and in how changing demographics are affecting how and why people make buying decisions. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, for example, Millennials are now the largest population group on the planet. Those born between 1982 and 2000 now make up about 25% of the population but they spend about 28% of all daily consumer spending. Forbes Magazine says that this expected to increase to 35% in the next 12 years. They already spend about $600 billion annually. That is a lot of buying power. Millennials, however, don’t necessarily make buying decisions like those before them. Understanding how they make decisions can help increase your odds of appealing to this market.
Millennials are taking longer to get married and buy a house. Many are just as satisfied renting apartments in urban areas and using bicycles or ride-sharing apps than buying a car. They also use different criteria when choosing where to make their consumer purchases. They want purchases to be simple, easy, and they expect superior customer service. They often put as much weight in online reviews as they would asking a family member about a product or service. They also want to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. This includes how their consumer dollars impact others and the environment.
Millennials often buy from companies who reflect their own views on life. For this generation, they frequently care more about how and where products are produced than their predecessors. They appreciate companies who conduct business responsibly. They care about FairTrade, organics, and companies who operate in an environmentally friendly fashion. They appreciate the value of “green” products and practices. Research indicates that a significant portion is even willing to pay more for products that meet their standards.