India’s youth – specifically under the age of 25 – trade, and negotiate everything; from the deals they secure on Shopclues, to the (selective) friends they invite onto Snapchat. Price comparison and daily deal sites, have transformed the consumer from informed bargain hunter into “mini stockbroker,” able to weigh the value of a particular product on a given day or within a given time period. Such decision-making is incredibly complex and completely individual, based on the specific circumstances and priorities of each consumer; and India’s youth are experts. But negotiation isn’t restricted to price and product, India’s ‘generation arbitrage’ is basing buying decisions on a host of other criteria, from loyalty points and discounts, to additional services and volume. Millennials’ sense of arbitrage extends beyond numbers (price and performance) and extends to sentiment, opinion and belief.
Millennials are now increasing defining themselves by their experiences more so than other qualities or factors, so it comes no surprised that their emotions, likes and dislikes hold a lot more accountability than ever before. Millennials factors in other people’s opinions into their decision-making – whether based on likes, review sites or user comments – so-called ‘emotional arbitrage’ is equally powerful when taking a decision. 84 percent of people claim that they trust online reviews better than personal recommendations. With 200 million monthly active Internet users in India, there’s no surprise that millennials have taken to social media platforms to express their opinion about products and purchases. The Nielsen Global Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, 2015 report reveals that millennials are the first generations now that are willing consciously to spend more for better quality, for sustainability and for other meaningful factors they care about and value. Since they are an influential and rapidly growing consumer market, brands now understand that the new millennial will pay extra for better deal, a decision which can be justified.
Overall, the emotional arbitrage does continue to assess monetary value of a product or service, but have a clear understanding of the other qualitative factors of their purchase decisions. The millennials’ need for factors such as convenience, practicality, and durability now play a greater role and are often found through the online pool of opinions and reviews that colour their mind. In addition to this, constant communication through platforms on social media such as whatsapp, facebook and twitter has caused for every expressions and feelings to be codified. According to the survey conducted by Fortis Healthcare, more than 74 per cent of students think that social media is the best platform for information, facts and latest happenings.
Millennials remain the Arbitrage Generation; everything is a trade, everything is based on an informed decision. And this does stop at price and performance, sentiment towards a brand – opinion, other people’s experience, reputation etc – play an increasing role in that decision-making. So-called ‘Emotional Arbitrage’ is the new criteria for this generation; and it’s every bit as powerful as the numbers . . . .