Why is there a need to attract Millennials? Millennials, those born between 1977 and 1995, make up 24% of the U.S. population. They are right at the epicenter of the consumer market and are revolutionizing the way retailers think. They demand enhanced consumer experiences to match their techno-savvy lifestyles. In fact, it is estimated that by 2017, this group will have more spending power than any other generation.
Millennials carry their world with them - in their smartphones. On August 24, 2015, one billion people used Facebook in a single day. This fact makes it safe to assume that almost all Millennials are “social” beings. To tap into this market of social beings, retailers need to think like them and adopt their ways.
Shopping is Social. Millennials are busy professionals, who like everything to go. They would rather spend time browsing for an item online than in a store. Amazon and e-bay have become their go to websites for online shopping. But even that is changing and browsing through social media platforms is taking over. Facebook’s “Buy Now”, Instagram’s “Shop Now” and Pinterest’s “Buy It” buttons are modernizing the way people shop. Not many retailers have adapted to this new, trendier way to sell. But, if they want to give their customers a smooth shopping experience they can relate to, social shopping is the way to go. This trend is no fad, but here to stay.
Gone are the days when positive world-of-mouth used to do all the magic. Social media is the new word of mouth. And social shopping is the way to put it into action. If you want your brand to sell, socialize it!
Best of both worlds. Online shopping is taking over the Millennials' world, but it cannot replace the traditional try-it and buy-it, brick and mortar way of shopping. Consumers shopping online are missing that physical touch of products before they buy. To give the consumers best of both the shopping experiences, the trick is to offer a cash on delivery option. With millions of discount coupons available on the internet, online shopping is going to be the preferred way of shopping but COD will give consumers an additional feature drawing towards your brand.
Let your brand talk. Millennials have grown up with millions of products pitching them 24/7. They want brands they can relate to and who exhibit the same values they do. In a sea of millions of products, it is important that a retailer sets its brand apart. Best way to do this is by creating a unique brand personality, with its own set of values. Let your brand talk for itself. Let customers know about the unique traits of your brand. Let them know what you stand for and what only you can give them. If customers relate to your brand, they will buy it. Uniqueness sells.
Engage & Network. Millennials want to be heard. They want brands to pay attention to them and to do things that are worthy of their attention. According to Millennial Marketing, 80% of the Millennials want brands to entertain them and 70% feel a responsibility to give feedback.
Engagement with customers is the best way to get true feedback for your brand. Instead of asking tedious questions, get to know your customers. Engage with them through social media or by providing them a personal shopping experience. Answer their questions, reply to their tweets and make them feel that their opinion matters and that you take their feedback seriously. Create relationships and network through this simple and effective pull strategy. It will win you fans among the Millennials and encourage them to shop at your store.
Intelligent content. Millennials are data driven individuals. They believe in originality and creative content. 46% of them are content creators and post their original pictures and videos. They expect the same from their retailers. If your content is not original, or not backed up by facts, they will reject it. There are hundreds of options for them and it does not take them much time to jump from one to another. A few well-chosen intelligent words for a product interest them, not a long summary or sales pitch. Attract Millennials with interesting pictures and clever content, especially if it is on trend.
In one of our recent retail posts, Michael Morin said that you could market to Millennials but you'd want to do it with tighter targeting media, such as digital, social and other direct marketing mediums. One of the reasons that's true is that the Millennials are shaped by their technology. In order to capture the attention of this booming group of consumers, retailers need to let go of their conventional strategies and think about what's “cool” and how they can be “awesome”. It's all about know your audience and giving them what they want.