Spotlight Europe
July 3, 2014
Be Mindful of Cultural Boundaries
July 24, 2014

Millennial Consumer Behavior: A Trend to watch

Last updated on May 17th, 2021 at 06:21 pm

E-commerce is playing a big role in consumer behavior, and multilingual E-commerce will broaden your consumer base if you speak your potential client’s language.

Ask yourself “how often do I make online purchases”?  Even if your answer is “I do not make online purchases”, chances are you’ve spent time web surfing for prices of your favorite electronic gadgets, necessary office supplies, clothing or even furniture.  This cyber-oriented consumer behavior is becoming rampant among the millennial a group consisting of all individuals whose birth years fall between the 1980s and early 2000s.  This group currently consists of 80 million people compared with the Boomers’ population of 76 million in the U.S, and their purchases are expected to generate $18 billion in new revenue for traditional retailers this year as it was indicated by Bloomberg.

Millennial consumer behavior and expectations are different from that of previous generations, and companies must rethink their brand, business models and marketing strategies to appeal to this large and powerful group.  By 2030, the population of U.S Millennials will outnumber that of the Boomers by over 20 million (Source:  U.N., Department of Economic and Social Affairs).

The Shift in Consumer Behavior

We used to value the experience of in-store shopping.  Being able to see, touch and try out products before buying as well as interacting with in-store staff – were all advantages of shopping at physical stores.  Now, customer service champions of yesteryear like Nordstrom are losing their crown to online retail stores- Nordstrom’s customer-service rankings sank to 10th place behind Amazon, Zappos and Overstock in 2011 (Bloomberg, June 25, 2014).

Today, convenience and speed are among the most valued qualities for Millennial shoppers.  This comes as no surprise when looking at the socioeconomic status of this group, which consists largely of working college students, and young adults who’ve started families.  With several roles to juggle in so little time, “ordering online just makes more sense”– an apt statement made by a 24-year-old associate for Bridge Growth Partners LLC, CJ Chu (Bloomberg, June 25, 2014).  As a working student, I can attest to this most of my textbook and software purchases have been made online.  In fact, I can’t recall the last time I set foot in my college bookstore.

During our time at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition last month in Chicago, we were hit with the wide array of e-technologies presented and workshops dedicated to streamlining online processes all serving as vivid reminders of how quickly things have evolved.  As consumer needs change, technology must change to fit those needs.  This requires companies to fully adopt these technological changes as part of their strategy to accommodate consumer behavior and create customer satisfaction.  Remember that customer satisfaction of today is a question of convenience.

Is your company willing to establish an e-commerce website to suit consumer behavior?  Answering yes is only the first step to fostering customer loyalty and driving business growth.  There are further steps to take when considering the business trend towards globalization: Steps towards creating a multilingual e-commerce website.  Consideration for developing multilingual e-commerce websites is especially critical if you know you have a global client base that has the potential to grow.  Be on top of the trends!  Look at the rising wave of Millennial consumers, and analyze the multilingual opportunities that can serve your business model well.

Flora Yu
Flora Yu
Flora was born and raised in New York to parents from Hong Kong and Taiwan. She has a degree in Accounting. She is fluent in Mandarin, and contributes a unique perspective as someone who was raised in 2 different cultures. She finds humor and opportunities to learn as she constantly searches for the balance between the East and West.