How a Millennial Books a Honeymoon

25th April 2012

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There have been many interesting articles recently about the online habits of Millennials. Much of these discuss how much weight peer and friend recommendations have when making purchases. As Bazaarvoice research outlines, “84% of Millennials report that user generated content (UGC) has at least some influence on what they buy”.

As a Millennial, (I was born in 1984, when The Boss was still “Dancing in the Dark”) this research inspired me to take a look at some of my own tendencies and behaviors.

I recently partook in one of life’s biggest events – in January, I married my beautiful wife, Nicole. When we got engaged I was eager and excited to take on the details and planning of the honeymoon. We knew we wanted white sandy beaches, tropical water and a resort. It should have been easy enough to plan right?

Wrong! Not only were there hundreds of different destinations that fit the description, but each destination had hundreds of resorts. I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least. So how did I finally make a decision?

I spoke with my friends and co-workers, read REAL visitor reviews, looked at user uploaded photos, and then talked to more friends!

Here’s how the process went:

  1. We chose our destination based on a strong recommendation from a family friend.
  2. I then used a travel site that was highly recommended by one of my buddies.
  3. I relied on visitor posted feedback more than a resort’s own website to help choose the right one.
  4. I spent hours reading customer reviews and do’s don’ts.
  5. I talked and listened to real people about their experiences.

It was easy to look at each resort website and see how beautiful they CAN be. More importantly, I wanted to see photos that actual vacationers uploaded at 2PM on a random Thursday afternoon, while the maintenance crew was driving their diesel trucks up and down the shore line!

So what did I learn about myself, that I think rings true for most Millennials?

  • When I’m making a purchase of almost any kind, and especially a large purchase, I do my research
  • REAL user feedback is way more valuable to me than a flashy website
  • As soon as I got home, I was quick to share my experiences (both positive and negative) online and in person to help others out

My point is, Millennials do their homework, and Millennials talk!

I just recently posted reviews of a doctors office, restaurant and veterinarian and shared them on my local Patch site, CitySearch and Facebook. And I have to tell you, it was a little painful.

Why don’t businesses make this easy for their customers? Have links on your website to your video testimonials page. Let us see and hear from your clients! Have a Facebook and Twitter page where we can interact. But most importantly, be real and authentic… Because if you’re not, we’ll post it, share it, tweet it, blog about it and +1 it to anyone who will listen!

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