They shop with friends, are in love with the deli section and are just as likely to do their grocery shopping at Target or Walmart as Kroger and Safeway.
Millennials, the 80 million people now aged 16 to 34, have buying and brand preferences that in many cases diverge sharply from their parents. But millennials need help from friends and family in making just about any decision, including which restaurant to eat at. They'll use technology (social and mobile) to gather opinions. Sixty-eight percent won't make a major decision without running it by their network first. How do you begin to understand the shopping habits of a generation that has never had to make up its own mind about anything?
You start with lots of surveys.
AdAgeStat got an exclusive look at some early findings from a new report by Barkley in partnership with Boston Consulting Group and Service Management Group. The report had one of the larger samples of millennials that we've seen outside of Pew reports, coupled with a sizable sample of older consumers to provide some content. Some of the findings confirm things we already suspect: high adoption rates of technology, hugely more likely to have active online profiles with lots of updated content, etc. Let's focus on some trends that are sure to get the attention of marketers still figuring out how to win over this new crowd.
For one, the report gives more evidence that supercenters are here to stay. Mass retailers like Target and Walmart are preferred by 32% of millennials, about the same score as traditional grocery chains, such as Kroger and Safeway (34%). Compare that with older generations (those 35 and up) for which the traditional chains still rule, by a margin of 44% to 27%.