How Will Millennials Influence the Future of Purchasing?

Whether you like it or not, millennials are coming into the supply chain and are beginning to be the employees in charge of purchasing. Millennial purchasing habits still present a challenge, but UPS recently released the Industrial Buyer Survey giving insight to the habits of the "buyers of the future.” 

Direct From Manufacturers
There are a lot of third party sellers these days, big box marts of the web if you will. From Amazon to Alibaba, products don’t ever have to come from the original manufacturer.

Catalogs are out, often used as a final check of product details and prices rather than a showcase of company offerings. So it’s interesting that only half of millennials use the conglomerates for their purchases. Two thirds of millennials prefer to buy directly from manufacturers, and as websites get better and customers better understood, those numbers are expected to increase. 

Loyalty Hinges on Experience
Millennials are often thought to not be brand loyal. They don’t have the attention span or dedication to product or service that makes an ideal repeat customer. This is what we are told. This is untrue.

Brand loyalty is important to millennials, but it is not gained easily and it is not a blind dedication. Loyalty is predicated by product quality, good customer experience, and acts of social good. The companies millennials purchase from are a reflection of who they are, and just like you, they want to make sure the right statement is being made.

They Do Their Research
Being the first generation with access to the entire world through the Internet, millennials know how to find the information they need to know before making a purchase, and won’t settle for something that does not meet their specific needs. 87% of millennials reportedly use between 2-3 devices at least once a day. If they’re at work, that once a day could be research, and they can do it from their computer, phone, or tablet. 79% of those researchers will then buy a product online if it’s the right fit.

Those who don’t purchase products online claim that confirming product details over the Internet are difficult, and don’t trust websites to give the full story. Remember what we said about buying directly from manufacturers and brand loyalty? 85% of millennial buyers are likely to shift spending to a distributor with a more user friendly website. The manufacturers who make it easy to do business online and in person while offering the details needed for their products and services will likely grab the attention, and business, of the new generation of buyers. 

Want to learn the newest trends in Industrial Buying? Check out our 2018 Industrial Buying Habits research.

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