My Experience as a Millennial Consumer

When I came to work for Abierto Networks 4 months ago as a Graphic Designer and Marketing Specialist, I was looking to bring a young perspective that would round out the Abierto creative team. I have been creating advertisements for convenience stores that help them capitalize on upsell and cross-sell opportunities. As a millennial and therefore a target consumer, I am very aware of other marketers aims to find out what I want from going into a store.

Our demographic is large and has a lot of influence in the marketplace. We grew up using technology at a very young age which made us the first purely digital generation. I first started using the internet at an early age of seven. Smartphones became the status quo by the time I reached 18 years old. Mobile phones are now almost an extension of the hand. I often use mobile coupons to save on my purchase when I go to CVS or to receive free food from Buffalo Wild Wings and IHOP. The uptake of the smartphone has made using coupons a lot easier, because instead of having to print a coupon and carry it around, you can pull it up on your device which would most likely be kept with you at all times anyways. At home, I recently upgraded my TV to something much larger with a significantly higher resolution to stay up to date with the newest technological changes. Digital menus are almost everywhere now. They allow the menu options to be much clearer and have a larger range of vision. As someone with vision problems, digital menus really help me make my decision more efficiently and allow me to move on quickly which impacts my overall experience.

As I see more and more businesses converting to digital signage, I’ve noticed I’ve started to subconsciously expect a certain amount of technological innovation when I enter a store. I find the experience of digital signage creates a sense of well-being for me. I often see convenience store retailers advertising products at the gas pump to drive me into the store, but I honestly usually always go inside the store for the same specific thing each time! This year, Ruffles released a limited edition flavor called ‘All Dressed’ hailing from Canada. It must’ve been popular enough to become a staple flavor, and I’m very happy about that because I am hooked. It really reminds me of a flavor I love from growing up in London, England that I was never able to get while living in the States. Once I’m already in the store, I am easily enticed to grab other items. When I see an advertisement of store merchandise, the marketing has given me the persuasion I need for an impulse purchase. My love for sour patch kids is always there. I don’t always want to indulge in these sugary treats that are not the best for my health, but if I see something that reminds me of my love for sour patch kids, I end up buying them. It makes me feel as though the experience is tailored to my wants and needs as a consumer and guarantees a repeat visit from me. Creating this customer centric shopping experience enriches my time in the store.

New technology catches on more quickly than ever before in all parts of the world. Driven by millennials, the way retail conducts its brick and mortar locations will change more rapidly these next few years than in the past several. The convenience retail business requires physical presence. New communication technologies are creating ways for convenience retailers to interact with the consumer.

As a young person, it makes me feel like a business is taking care of me when they have integrated technology into their model and allow me to transition from one digital experience to another throughout the day. Digital signage allows me to seamlessly transition through many different channels, from the experience of the internet on the PC and smartphone, to the physical store. I hope more retailers will consider that I, a young consumer, wish to be able to have a technological experience across many avenues. That way, my frequent trips to grab my Ruffles All Dressed chips would be much more enjoyable.