The rise of millennials in the workplace is having a marked impact on industrial buying patterns, according to new study by UPS.
UPS’s fourth Industrial Buying Dynamics study notes a shift in demographics, with 38 percent of responses coming from millennials. That share is up 10 percent from 2017.
“This growing generation of buyers is less loyal to tradition, often preferring to conduct research via social media rather than contacting a sales representative,” the study says. “Millennials also tend to consider factors including sustainability and after-sales support over more traditional factors like quality and price.”
Still, millennials remain restricted in their choices by oversight from baby boomers, UPS said.
Procurement patterns are shifting to online marketplaces or direct purchases form manufacturers — again, a trend driven by millennials, according to UPS.
That generation is also causing a sharp rise in international sourcing, “far more than Baby Boomers or Generation X buyers.” At the same time, survey respondents are willing to pay more for faster service across borders. According to the report, 26 percent expect orders within two days. And 81 percent say their orders sometimes require same-day delivery.
After-sales support is becoming a more crucial factor in buying decisions. The report finds 87 percent of millennials likely to shift suppliers over the next three to five years, in order to obtain better post-sales support.
“Industrial buying in 2019 requires greater analysis and customization than in the past,” UPS said. “Knowing the buyer — age, background, etc. — now matters more.”
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