Millennials Go Mobile to Make Meaningful Connections

Photo by LucasAS

Summer time is social time. It’s a season plush with travel and entertainment activity. We’re busy tracking the tremors of this year’s summer season as a window into where things are headed with Gen Y.

People who observe young people engrossed in their gadgets wonder if technology is making Millennials less social. Our recent monitoring of social media insights tells a different story. Time spent with friends and family continues be a cherished value among young people.

Key insights: Mobile shopping behaviors remain rooted in lifestyle occasions, that involve live experiences with other people. Travel is a purchase trigger.

Jottings from our field notes:
Texting is ubiquitous for getting around. Twitter is now the electronic post-it note for expressing quick points of view and linking people to ideas and places. Foursquare use is waning. Longer form expressions like email are considered a formality for transactions needing a digital “paper trail”, such as reservations.

Travel with friends and family is a powerful trigger for buying clothes, tickets and food. While on the road, smartphones are widely used as navigational tools on the path to purchase. Mobile makes Millennials competent travelers—helping them find attractions, music venues and eateries.

Mobile commerce is still an emerging behavior for cultural consumers of all ages. They tell us in interviews that the convenience and immediacy of buying commodities such as books and music is important to who they are, not just how they spend their time and money. If they find themselves in a conversation about an unfamiliar book, for instance, they’ll obtain it instantly and glance through it to be able to participate.

We continue to track mobile commerce because it’s evolutionary. We dig that, always. So far, smartphones aren’t replacing human connections between people. The technology is facilitating, not replacing.