While some studies have concluded that Millennials are less brand-loyal than older generations, a new survey from the National Retail Federation offers some good news for marketers.
One finding: Once a product, service or retail brand wins over Millennial parents — that is, parents in their 30’s and late 20s —they’re actually much more likely to stick with it than parents from other generations.
Specifically, half (49%) of Millennial parents report that they stick with a brand despite cheaper options (versus 30% of parents from other generations); 52% remain loyal despite more convenient options (versus 35% of other parents); and 64% said that they shop a brand to which they’re loyal before looking at a competitor (versus 54% of other parents).
That’s particularly good news given that, according to NRF, Millennials are parents to half of today’s children, and more than a million Millennial women become new mothers every year.
But winning their loyalty in the first place takes an understanding of their priorities.
Although price matters, convenience is also a major hotspot for these parents. The survey found that 86% have used same-day shipping (versus 67% of other parents), and 40% use subscription services to receive automatic shipments of staples like diapers at discounted prices. They’re also more realistic about paying for shipping of smaller orders.
But customer service is even more important to these new parents.
“To keep parents of any generation happy, brands and retailers must deliver on both price and quality,” summed up Katherine Cullen, director of retail and consumer insights for NRF, in announcing the results. “But Millennials are very concerned about good customer service, and are twice as likely to back out of a purchase for lack of it. For Millennials, service ranks ahead of convenience, selection and loyalty programs.”
Millennial parents are also more socially minded: 44% say they shop only brands that reflect their social or political values (versus 23% of parents in other generations).
Unsurprisingly, the survey found that 78% use their phones to research products (versus 58% of other parents); 75% use phones to check prices or availability (versus 58% of other parents); and 71% use them to pay at checkout or place an order (versus 51% of other parents). Also, 71% will post a review, process a return or chat with customer service after purchasing, versus 43% of other parents.
It also found that Millennial parents are highly educated (40% hold graduate degrees, versus 19% of other parents); and relatively affluent (69% earn more than the national median income of $59,000, versus 53% of other parents).
Millennials in general are also optimistic about the future. Their consumer confidence has risen by more than 20 percentage points since 2008, and a third feel that their financial situation has improved over the last year, reports NRF.
NRF surveyed a nationally representative sample of 3,002 U.S. adult consumers 18 or older, between January 30 and February 18, to explore how Millennial parents shop and engage with brands differently than parents in other generations. The survey was done for the association’s quarterly Consumer View research.