The results of the PwC 2019 Global Consumer Insights Survey were hardly surprising. Customers in South Africa used social media to hear about current events (33%) and used social media to determine where they would shop and what they would buy (46.5%).
South African consumers are influenced by peer reviews, positive social media reviews and use digital channels to engage with business, banking and brands (63.2%). For the company that wants to capture market share and engage with the customer, these statistics highlight the need for a brand strategy that recognises the purchasing power of the millennial generation and that adapts to their evolving needs and lifestyles.
Simplicity and authenticity
Millennials want simplicity and authenticity when it comes to brand interaction and engagement. They are the generation that will do their banking on their mobile device while they wait in the queue for their lunch. They want to use their mobile devices to manage their lives, contact their friends, and catch up on Netflix and they want every one of these moments to be seamless and simple.
The essence of the millennial customer experience lies in the brand’s ability to make interactions obvious and authentic. The older generation, the so-called Boomer, may want the personal touch and for the butcher to know their name, but the millennial wants brands to understand their preferences and to use their data to create customised experiences. Most millennials are comfortable with brands holding onto their data but the caveat is that this data must be used to curate experiences and recommendations and seamless engagement pathways.
Millennials have grown up with technology and, in South Africa, we spend almost two hours more time online than the global average. They use various online platforms to interact with businesses and people every day, constantly checking social media and using their devices to manage their lives. Since the majority of this generation has access to a smartphone, it makes sense to provide them with the opportunity to engage with businesses in a way that suits their habits and lifestyle. As a result, there’s little point in developing a gorgeous website if it won’t work on mobile.