It's stereotypical to say that members of Generation Y, by and large, have short attention spans with little patience for waiting. But according to a new joint-study between MIT and the e-commerce platform Bigcommerce, such an assessment is actually quite apt. Kate Jones of The Sydney Morning Herald explains in an article published today (or tomorrow, depending on your timezone) how businesses can use the findings to help effectively market to young people.

The basic gist is that members of Generation Y are self-problem solvers with access to tons of data to help them get what they want. When Jones asked a Bigcommerce exec about what tools millennials use to make their commerce decisions, she pointed to online ratings and reviews such as those on Yelp or Amazon. A strong user-built reputation will make your products stand out. 

Something else that millennials appreciate is a business that replies to their queries in a swift manner. Jones explains:

"Despite less than 20 per cent of small businesses saying they were unable to respond to customers within an hour, this is a priority for Gen Ys. The study revealed 70 per cent valued responsive support, which they say greatly impacts their level of trust in a business."

This is why so many big companies employ people whose sole responsibility is to scour Twitter for complaints and resolve them quickly. If you've ever tweeted something like, "I hate you, Verizon. Your service is crap," you've probably received a response from someone asking how they can help. 

Other bits of advice include offering coupons and discounts (millennials are thrifty) and being engaged on social media (millennials can sense a disingenuous lack of effort). Take a look at the whole article (linked below) more more advice.

Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

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