This was a fun post to write and originally appeared as a guest post for Benchmark. Hope you enjoy it.
Millennials seem to be a puzzle for most brands. Born between 1982 and 2000 and numbering 78M, Millennials came of age together with the Internet and mobile phones. Technology to them is no big deal and is a helpful rather than frustrating component to getting things done and being entertained.
According to eMarketer, 72% of Millennials have a smartphone, more than any other age group. 29% of them own an iPhone; 20% own a Samsung; and 35% own either an LG, Motorola or HTC phone meaning Android and Apple platforms reign supreme with this group. Millennials also have the highest app usage on phones and tablets.
In fact, MediaBistro says 53% of Millennials would rather give up their sense of smell than their technology. Wow.
When it comes to mobile, Millennials’ mindset and activities tell us a lot (great Infographic from Badgeville with more):
89% prefer to choose when and where they work – so mobile technology must allow them to work from and be connected from anywhere via voice, email, social media and other apps
41% (and growing) rely solely on their mobile phones for telephone connectivity
58% of mobile shoppers are Millennials; 41% of whom have made a purchase via their smartphone – clearly they like to shop when and where they want as well
50% use their smartphone to research purchases – search and show-rooming are big with them
So as a brand, how do you tap into this mobile Millennial mayhem?
Well, if you’re selling consumer products you need to make sure you have a high quality, seamless mobile commerce experience. Mobile commerce should have fast search, good prices, integration of promotions including social media promos and be secure. You should blend the physical and virtual shopping experience so they get the most out of your mobile experience, however they choose to shop. User reviews are important to Millennials as they expect to be able to read about others’ experience with your products and to be able to share their experiences as well. Your website should have social sharing built in throughout the experience so Millennials can ask their friends about your products in advance of purchase and share their excitement when a purchase is made. Mobile apps are important for consumer services from banking , to parking meters, to all sorts of travel related services and more.
If you are selling business products or services, you want to enable as much self-service and ease of information gathering as possible. You need a phenomenal SEO strategy so your product information, reviews, articles and blogs by influencers rank high. You also should enable mobile commerce as much as possible. If you’re selling repeat value services, a mobile app strategy may be the way to go, but at a minimum you need a responsive design website that renders well on smartphones and tablets.
Mobile support is critical for all brands. No one wants to use up their battery waiting on hold with your call center. Mobile Twitter support via smartphones and tablets is a good alternative avenue for support and one Millennials in particular will gravitate to. Email support that is mobile optimized is a must-have too.
So in the end, the mobile experience of your brand isn’t an add-on experience for Millennials, it is THE experience. So put mobile at the center of your strategy if this generation is key to your success and they’re likely to reward you with engagement and repeat purchase.