Posted February 2, 2012 3:55 pm by with 1 comment

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“By 2017, Millennials – those consumers now in their mid-teens to mid-30s – will have more spending power than any other generation.”

That quote shouldn’t take you by surprise. It’s the circle of life. A new crop of young, working, educated men and women who have discretionary income. In other words, the people you need to keep your business alive.

One hitch, a study by Bazaarvoice says that Millennials don’t make purchase decisions like their mothers did, not even like their big sisters did! Since Millennials are growing up in the social media age, they rely on the opinions of others more than any other group before them.

What’s really interesting is that millennials are way more likely to depend on the kindness of strangers than their forefathers. 51% said they were influenced by comments on the web made by people they don’t know. Only 34% of baby boomers put their trust in strangers. They preferred to hear from friends and family (66%). As for millennials, only 49% said they were influenced by people they actually know.

This means that consumer comments and reviews are extremely important to your business. But 73% of millennials surveyed said that consumers care more about customer opinions than companies do. They felt that companies don’t offer enough ways to share and that companies don’t take feedback seriously.

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Time to take a look at your own business pages. Are there easy ways to leave comments and reviews? Are reviews public? The good ones and the bad ones? What happens when someone leaves a bad comment? Does anyone follow up to solve the problem?

The bottom line is that whether they’re buying a car or lunch, Millennials want to assurances from others that they’re making the right decision. It’s up to you to give them the information and tools to find their own way.

NOTE: Thank you to Ian Greenleigh of Bazaarvoice for gently pointing out a typo in the title. It’s official, we’re not perfect :-).

  • Interesting findings. Personally, I only look for opinions before I buy if I don’t trust the seller in some way because what do other people know about my tastes and my needs? Could it be that millenials are more insecure than boomers and look more for other people’s opinions to validate their own than boomers do?

    An in-depth follow-up study that investigates this would be awesome!