The impact of millennial shoppers on the supply chain

Alex Robertson

By Alex Robertson Business Development at King Solutions

There are currently 80 million millennials in the U.S. (people born between 1980 and 2000). They now make up 25% of the entire population of the U.S.

The impact of millennials, also known as Generation Y, has been felt by nearly every industry in the world. They are the fastest growing segment in the workplace, they are slowly becoming the largest segment of consumers, and they are now the primary segment that retailers and businesses are targeting with their products and marketing efforts.

They are the new key demographic.

Because of this, millennial shoppers have also had a huge impact on the supply chain, just as Generation X and the Baby Boomers did before them. But what impact have they had so far, and how will they continue to impact the supply chain in the future? Most importantly, what are supply chain professionals doing to adapt to these new trends?

How millennial shoppers are changing the supply chain
The largest effect that millennials have had so far: e-commerce. The traditional brick-and-mortar store is in a downward spiral, thanks to millennial shopping habits. E-commerce sales have been growing every year and are expected to reach over 500 billion dollars a year by 2019. They now make up 7.8% of all retail sales, a figure that grows each passing year.

In order to account for this, supply chains have had to hasten their efforts to process online orders and ship products to consumers. In order to keep up with Amazon’s “two-day shipping” for many orders, retailers have opened more warehouses across the country to better service millennials.

The greater emphasis on data
Whereas consumer data was once a process to gauge accurately, millennials have made their shopping habits transparent to supply chain professionals. Through online sales, and the collection of big data, anyone from shippers to management teams can access stockpiles of data that includes purchase times, dates, quantities, shipping locations, and much more.

Using this data, it has become easy to identify trends that can affect everything from the location of warehouses to the routes that carriers take to deliver freight.

Keeping up with the new generation
Because consumer habits are changing from generation to generation, so too must the supply chain. At King Solutions, we stay on top of the latest consumer and supply chain trends in order to help our partners stay ahead of their competition. To learn more about how partnering with us can help establish an effective supply chain for your company, contact our team today.