Symphony IRI Group recently released a market research report on the shopping habits of millennials, consumers 18 to 34 years of age, a growing and unique customer segment. The report includes suggestions and case studies of how to market to this group of consumers who are at the early stages of their work lives.
Millennials are not currently the majority of consumers in the American work place, but they are growing and replacing their elders daily. Consumer product marketers need to get to know them better if they want to have a future.
In reviewing this very comprehensive and easy-to-follow report, I could not help but note the many ways in which the vending and refreshment services industries are specially equipped to meet millennials’ needs.
Yes, convenience and value are important to consumers of all ages and have been for many years. But these drivers are especially important to millennials because these consumers have less discretionary income than other consumers, they have been conditioned by a lengthy recession to be cost conscious, and they have grown accustomed to using the Internet and mobile phones as shopping tools.
Take the fact that 32 percent of millennials have difficulty affording weekly groceries, compared to 22 percent of the general population. This explains why millennials are preparing more meals at home than their elders. But it also makes these consumers more likely to seek the unique values that vending can offer them – provided they are made aware of these values.
The report specifically notes that millennials are looking for convenience and affordability when selecting a retail channel to shop more heavily versus the average shopper when evaluating their shopping experience.
Millennials are also 77 percent more likely to be influenced by in-store kiosks when making brand decisions versus the average shopper. This reflects their comfort with technology, which the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s research also found applies to vending machines.
Still another finding with relevance to vending and refreshment services is that millennials are almost as health conscious as other consumers when making purchases. This means they are far ahead of where the baby boomers were in health awareness at that age.
The report gives examples of how some retailers are using mobile media to reach this hyper connected group. The big drug store chains are well ahead of the pack in this area.
Can vending and refreshment service operators afford to neglect all of this market information?
To find out how to get a free copy of this useful report, click here.