Retailers know Millennials as tech-savvy consumers who grew up with emerging technologies like social media and mobile apps, and have made great efforts to attract them through online and traditional marketing. But given the noise in the retail market, how do you ensure that your brand make a lasting impression on this highly lucrative consumer segment?
1. Millennials want personalized offers at every touchpoint.
Millennials expect retailers to actively offer a variety of personalization options at every customer touchpoint in return for their loyalty. In particular, targeted marketing messages based on their past purchases have generated great responses from Millennials, as well as deals found through mobile apps. For many retailers, the challenge remains in gauging how effective these mobile personalized offers are in directing customers to a purchase.
- Unique redemption codes can be used to track customer shopping behaviour after receiving a mobile promotion message.
- Loyalty programs should be equipped to create targeted mobile offers according to past transactions and customer feedback.
- Offer personalization options for products and delivery.
2. Make your products familiar to Millennials.
While Millennials recognize the important role that technology plays in their day-to-day life, 61% consider their dependence on technology to be dehumanizing. Millennials are also more critical of technology than any other customer segment, and are less likely to adopt new products if they’re unsure of their value or their functional benefits. However, Millennials are heavily reliant on their peers for product recommendations, and retailers that are adept at broadcasting marketing messages through these peer channels achieve greater loyalty.
- Sponsor bloggers and YouTubers in your retail niche to review and demonstrate products to their subscribers.
- Use photography or video to present the product in familiar environments like the home, school, or office.
- Contests or giveaways should be transparent and emphasize real people interacting with the products.
- Encourage customers to post honest feedback on social media and engage in conversation with your brand.
3. Treat your website as a brick-and-mortar store.
For Millennials, who frequently browse a retailer’s website before making a purchase in-store, consistency in these two channels is critical not just to sales, but also customer retention. 89% of Millennials won’t return to a retail store if product availability in-store didn’t match what was said online. Retailers often fail to recognize that their websites are an extension of their physical stores. For example, when you update out-of-stock items in the store, why wouldn’t you do the same on your website, which is frequently a Millennial’s first point of contact with a retailer?
- Give customers a consistent brand image online and in-store. If your brand is about delivery quality service, don’t use your website to get rid of old merchandise—support your brand vision!
- Consider using online sales representatives to quickly assist customers and guide them to a sale through a live chat feature on the website.
- Ensure that your website is always running optimally and properly managed and merchandised, just like your in-store operations.
- Let the customer know whom to contact if they’re having difficulties checking out online—after all, these concerns are addressed right away in the physical store.
4. Provide added value.
With countless products and brands saturating the market, a key differentiator for many Millennials is added value. Millennials choose brands that echo their own values, and are often willing to purchase their products at a price premium. Walmart gained positive publicity through their Electronics Recycling program, which allowed customers to receive credit for new smartphones by trading in their old equipment. Walmart’s initiative added value to customers by helping them save money and reduce waste, all the while communicating their corporate social responsibility and promoting themselves as an electronics vendor of choice.
- What are your corporate values and how might they resonate with Millennials?
- How does your product or customer service go above and beyond a Millennial’s expectations?
- Millennials value transparency; if you source locally or through socially responsible suppliers, let customers know. At the same time, if you falsely communicate value, Millennials will find out and voice their discontent through a social media wildfire.
Retailers must be prepared to deliver the above in order to inspire loyalty among Millennials. With an estimated 30% of all retail sales attributed to Millennials in 2020, the opportunity is significant, but it’s important you start now.