How Different Generations Adapt And React To New Technologies

The new information and communication technologies (ICTs) represent all the tools available to us in terms of telecommunications, computing, audiovisual, Internet, multimedia etc. These new technologies have allowed the emergence of new practices in our daily lives. Both professionally and privately. In general, these new tools bring performance and productivity to users, but these new technologies can have several disadvantages.

Who is Interested in New Technologies? And What are Their Expectations?

Millennials, the generation Y is the generation which is the most interested in new technologies. They are already aware of new trends and they want new things, they want to live new experiences. Millennials are young people born between 1980 and 2000 and they represent 25% of the total population all around the world. Their expectations are totally different from the other generation such as baby boomers or generation X. This is the generation who born with the internet and then with smartphones. They are always connected; it can be by text messaging, social media, instant messaging or blogging. In a Goldmansachs report made in 2015 there is a sentence that represents the most the idea of new technologies and this generation, available for mass market and in luxury: “Millennials’ affinity for technology is reshaping the retail space. In fact, they are 2,5 more aware of new technology than all the other generations.

The generation Y, called sometimes “Digital Natives “, lives for a long time with internet, the telephone stuck on the ear and connected to the social networks. Indeed their equipment rate in computers, smartphones and tablets exceeds from 5 to 10 points those of the previous generation. As for the media more classic as the television and the radio, they are considered “obsolete” today. Companies thus have to use the new way of communication to reach their target. The generation Y having grown up in the middle of services and of nomadic, fast and individualistic applications, great importance to the criteria of unlimited and of speed.

The generation of “Digital Natives” does not any more support to wait. The acronym “ATAWAD” (Any Time, Any Where, Any Device) summarizes well the situation. The arrival of the new technologies modified their behavior and made them demanding: they want to have access to everything and at once. So the loyalty cards which ask 6 months before being rewarded for his/her purchases, do not interest them anymore, the profit must be immediate! So “digital natives” are less faithful than the previous generation, because they estimate more the innovation and always desire better. Companies thus have to adapt themselves in terms of promotion and development of customer loyalty which means an improvement in the brand activation. This generation favors the pleasure and the envy for novelty. There is a certain confusion, sometimes, between necessity and insignificance.

The generation Y expects from a product whether it is innovative and that it facilitates life, but also whether it is customizable to appropriate it! Indeed, following the example of the car industry or following the example of the furniture, the phenomenon should extend in particular in the clothing, in the leisure activities and in the information. (Ex: Nike, Vuitton) more globally, to get the attention of the generation Y, it is necessary to create an experience around a product or a service. A brand has to be meaningful, an own identity and have its own universe.

Millennials discovers products since their smartphone, many on the social networks. The smartphone is the privileged tool of the Millennials to discover products. 79 % of them assert that it is via mobile that they discovered a new brand, a new product or a new service. It is not moreover very surprising when we know that Millennials check their smartphone approximately 150 times a day. On their smartphones, 18-34 years spend more than one minute on five to consult the social networks. It is thus mainly on Facebook, Instagram and maintaining Snapchat that Millennials finds their inspiration regarding fashion, regarding lifestyle and regarding culture. Not amazing that brands which target Millennials massively invested these platforms even if they do not thought it could be possible one day to be on snapchat, especially for a luxury brand.

Just like Millennials, Gen X widely adopted the motive but they favor emails and the online search to discover products. The representatives of the Gen X are followers of the ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline). They so spend a lot of time on the Internet to inquire about the products which interest them before going to store.

Contrary to Millennials, the best way to touch directly on the 35-54 years stays the email. The email thus remains a marketing channel favored to make discover your products, especially which the ROI (Return on Investment) of this channel is easy to measure compared with the social networks.

What are the concrete motivations of purchase? What are the differences between a Millennials and a Gen X? Millennials under influence, in search of quality products, ethical and accessibility. Millennials are sensitive to the brands which make a commitment regarding social and environmental responsibility. They like that their purchases can be meaningful. Brands as TOMS in the United States (for every bought pair of shoes, a pair offered to a needy child) or still Faguo in France (for every bought product, a tree crashed in France) knew how to take advantage of their positioning of fair brands to build itself customers’ faithful base among 18-34 years.

The community also plays a strong role in the motivations of purchase of Millennials. 84 % of them explain that the contents generated by the users, UGC, had an influence on the products which they bought. It is also the generation which gives in most easily to the impulse of purchase.

In spite of the importance which they grant to the quality of products, Millennials is as them elder, very price-sensitive.

The shopper of the generation X is more down-to-earth. He looks for quality products but at the just price (even if it means that it is raised if the quality is there). Gen X shoppers are also less perceptible to the latest fads than their younger brothers. They knew the passage of a prosperous economy about a gloomy economy and are more skeptical on the sincerity of the speech of the brands. It is essential to show transparency and coherence to convince them. They will so tend to favor products more niche capable of expressing their personality and of avoiding so “one size fits all”.

Millennials buys more and more on mobile but in a multichannel logic where the store keeps all its place. Millennial never parts from its oxygen cylinder, its smartphone. Thus not amazing that if he or she discovers more and more products on mobile, he/she buys so more and more on mobile. A study of the IAB realized in October, 2015 in the United States showed that Millennials may more buy on their smartphone that the rest of the population (43 % versus 28 %). It is thus very important for the retailers to develop process of purchase adapted to the mobile. Indeed, if to assure the phase of discovery on mobile via the social networks will allow you to affect and attract Millennials, to improve flow at the most the tunnel of mobile purchase (time of load of pages, optimized forms) will allow you to convert him/her. These new mobile processes however have to become integrated into an omni channel strategy. 68 % of Millennials so demand an experience of perfectly fluid shopping on all the channels. Gen X shoppers buys more and more on-line and are also followers of the omni channel.

The generation X took the fold of the on-line purchase with 52 % of 35-50 years which declare already made credit note a purchase on the Internet. They also adopt new way of consumption multi-channel as the click and collect. The only difference with Millennials comes from the speed of adoption of the new habits of shopping, with Millennials, more early adopters. 92 % of Millennials are for example followers of the showrooming against 80 % of the members of the generation X. Less impulsive than Millennials, the representatives of the generation X are followers of it of the comparison products. They do not hesitate to lead long searches on the products which they desire. Thus it is important to give them enough information to your products.

Good news, Millennials can be very faithful on the condition of the good to pamper them.

You are afraid that Millennial is not loyal in your mark? Nevertheless, the image of the young man which changes marks every day is enough far from sticking on the reality. Millennials can be extremely loyal provided that the leading experience put forward them. They are moreover 64 % to be also or more loyal in the marks than their parents.

The consumer of the generation Y wants to be courted and to spoil by the brands to which he grants his loyalty. It passes by a dedicated and personal communication which tells a story with a real leading universe. Millennials is also fond of loyalty programs. They look for promotions at the same time personalized and simple to use (in particular via smartphone during the checking out). Sephora understood well it. Besides proposing an experience in playful store adapted to Millennials, the mark personalizes reductions according to buyer’s profile of the customers. Sephora even went farther by creating the VIP program, specially designed for the mobile, which allows its members to benefit from exclusive rewards (access to private sessions of shopping, pass exclusive for the studio …).

Gen X, loyal, demanding and “straight to the point”. The shoppers of the generation X is loyal with 40 % of them too who remain faithful to the brands which they like. Having often grown up with some flagship brands, they are so a little less inclined to discover new brands. Gen X does not need that we tell them a story as Millennials, what matters above all for them it is an irreproachable customer service (welcome, after-sales service). A communication of honest and transparent brand also represents a good base to win the heart of this generation. Just like Millennials, representative of the generation X appreciates loyalty programs, essentially to keep. He does not wish to make a commitment with the brands. To develop loyalty of it, adopt a loyalty program simple to use where he can quickly notice the economies which he or she makes.

After all these comparisons, we can say that they are not so different.

What separates the generation X from the generation Millennial sometimes hangs by a thread. 35-50 years old people adopted after all quickly the new technologies. As for Millennials, mobile first do not mean the end of the store, on the contrary. Millennials wishes an experience of purchase Omni canal “seamless” where the brick and mortar keeps its entire place and integrates perfectly the new mobile uses. 

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