Millennials want experiences

According to Forbes*, more and more customers –a significant 74% are choosing experiences over products. They want moments to cherish and memories to savour rather than the cold transaction of an online or in-shop purchase. Known as the Experience Economy, shoppers –and particularly millennials, are looking for more meaningful and fulfilling shopping experiences.

Millennials are defined as those born between 1981 and 1996. One of the key elements behind this age group’s behavioural differences from previous generations is that they were raised with technology from a young age, adopting mobile phones, computers during their youth and quickly adjusting to the social media world. Growing up ‘plugged-in’ has affected how this digital generation view the world, and their own behaviours. When it comes to buying habits, millennial shoppers are willing to pay more for items that in return, will provide a unique customer-centric experience.

Recently, in an Eventbrite^ study, 78% of Millennials preferred to spend money on experiences rather than things - dining out, travelling or attending music festivals. 80% of them want to create lifelong experiences; moments that help to shape their identity. It’s about feeling more connected to their communities, other people, and the world.

View on travel

Over the last few years, we have seen big disruptor brands like Airbnb and Uber change how people travel, holiday and work away from home. Growing up with this type of service, millennials are used to curating their own journeys, from the type of car their driver picks them up in, to the neighbourhood they want to spend their holiday in. Convenience and speed are sewn up in all of this and are features that millennials have come to expect from brands. Equally the lines between work and leisure are blurring as millennials tag on additional days to work travel to allow them to enjoy the city further. In fact, according to Tripactions, 90% of millennials see travel as a work perk, with 39% saying they wouldn’t take a job that didn’t offer travel opportunities.

This impacts corporate travel overall as millennials are looking for a better experience here too -greater accommodation options, priority boarding and onboard Wi-Fi. Travel providers need to look at investment in technology to meet these needs and remain competitive.

Smarter payments

Millennials have earned a reputation for viewing the world through a uniquely digital lens. With the advances in digital and mobile banking and the increasing use of smartphone technology to make contactless payments, millennials can enjoy hassle-free spending. If traditional banks do not meet their expectations, they are open to seeking new solutions that may be more suitable to their lifestyles, such as Revolut or Transferwise. They can use their smartphone to purchase items in-store or in lieu of a ticket for travel or events.

How can brands better engage with millennials?

Engaging millennials, and really winning over this market, means offering a flexible buying process as well as a personalised, high-touch digital experience. Allowing customers to pay in advance and select their choice of services or add-ons. Offering fast and seamless transactions, customer service and after-care service that meets demand. All of these things will lead to a more positive customer experience – help brands differentiate themselves, and ultimately drive more sales and enhance customer loyalty.


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