For Generation Y, shopping is much more than the act of buying a product. This networked generation places greater importance to the status associated with communicating and sharing each stage of the purchase process. This generation seeks valediction of a purchase selfie, so to say, from the wider community. This is the startling finding by the Paradox Panel constituted by watchmaker Titan.
This Paradox Panel is a think tank that researches, debates and develops insights into the country’s Gen Y or those aged between 21-35.
The research has found that 89 per cent of the “millennial” in India research online before making a purchase, 74 per cent believe that they influence the purchase decisions of others. These findings, marketers believe, has thrown up an opportunity to enhance one’s profile and status in the wider community — from research to post-purchase. This generation is also very individualistic in their shopping habits: 43 per cent shop alone, and a third cite personal satisfaction as an important factor behind their decision making.
In what can be interpreted as good news for companies, 90 per cent consumers of this age group believe it is their responsibility to share feedback with companies after a good or bad brand experience.
Even as these consumers are fiercely individualistic, this group behaviour they exhibit, aptly termed as collective individualism shows that Gen Y is obsessed with self expression, individual choice and personal experience, while at the same time they show desire to belong to a community.
The Paradox Panel’s Second Quarterly Report says that this paradox in behaviour is the outcome of this generation’s search for wisdom, a meta-perspective that goes beyond knowledge, and the prestige they associate with wisdom.
The panel had representatives from both business and academia. Among the panelists were Bino Paul, professor and chairperson, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Kaustav Sengupta, associate professor at National Institute of Fashion Technology, Aditya Swamy — executive vice president, MTV India and Sam Ahmed, ad film maker.
The millennial are a prize catchment for marketers and research into their behaviour as consumers is an ongoing process in academia.