This summer, my family and I went on a trip to San Francisco. The first morning there, after being woken up extremely early by our parents, my siblings and I found ourselves standing in line outside of a restaurant named Sweet Maple. While the wait was excruciatingly long, my mother insisted this would be one of the best breakfasts we’ve ever had and assured us she “has seen it all over Instagram.” My mother… not a Millennial… and an Instagram user of only a year… found this famous restaurant on Instagram?! Not only that but she had already chosen her meal after searching and browsing the photos on the store’s own page.
P.S. My mom and her Instagram research were right! My breakfast was out of this world, and if you are ever in San Francisco, Sweet Maple is a mandatory stop and you must order the Millionaire’s Bacon! Not to make you drool but…the proof is in the posts:
But what perplexed me from this situation was not that my mom was right, but how my mom knew to discover and research on Instagram. Now-a-days when we sit down at a restaurant, it is a go-to move of my mother’s to whip out her phone, search the restaurant on Instagram, and select her meal based on the photos on the account; a behavior I have not yet developed myself. I have discovered my mom is much more digitally influenced than me in this sense.
Last week, in my presentation of omni-channel strategies and Deloitte’s Digital Divide, I spoke about one of the main findings this year: that retailers are looking at the future through a telescope and need to be looking at their futures under a microscope of their own companies. What I didn’t speak to in my presentation, and what perfectly explains my mom’s digital behavior in her search for restaurants in San Francisco, is the other main finding of the 2016 study of the “The Millennial Mindset.”
“The Millennial Mindset” is an accelerating dynamic in customer behavior that older demographic groups are starting to embrace digital in their shopping journeys at levels almost equal to millennials. What this finding is essentially saying is that, although all the research and studies in recent years have pointed to unique behavioral patterns among millennials in regards to the use of digital, these very behaviors are becoming adopted by older generations in their shopping journeys.
In 2015: 44% of millennials used digital during their shopping journeys while only 27% of non-millennials used it during their journeys. But in 2016: 44% of non-millennials now use it during their journey compared to 55% of millennials.
After their shopping journey, 16% of millennials use digital and, right behind them, 12% of non-millennials use digital after the shopping journey.
The way in which we use digital during our shopping journeys is being mimicked by those of our parents’ generation. In fact, for the past two years, in the process before shopping, non-millennials have used digital more than millennials.
So although I may have been shocked at my mom’s use of social media before consumption, when that is not even something I do myself. The stats show that our parents may do this more than us. Not only are they taking over platforms like Facebook, and creeping onto Instagram and Snapchat, but parent are now consuming like we do to. So it calls use to question are these digital behaviors truly those of millennials? Or simply the behaviors of all consumers in today’s digitally driven world?
Next time your parents tell you to “grow-up” or “act more like an adult,” now you have the statistics to prove that you and your parents act exactly alike. In fact, we’re all just acting like big kids (millennials). Based on my mom’s use of digital in her journey, she totally has the “Millennial Mindset.” She probably thinks this makes her a “cool mom.” And, while I cannot confirm or deny that, all I know is that ever since our trip to San Francisco, I look up almost all restaurants or stores on Instagram before going and, traditionally, this behavior is something we would expect from millennials over older generations, but I’m proud to say… I got it from my mama!