If your store has been around for a few years, you probably have some loyal customers you know by name. Many of these customers are part of the Baby Boomer generation and respond well to more traditional marketing and advertising.
But there is a new generation in town. When young adults born after the early 1980s reach 18, they are grouped into a category called "Millennials" or "Generation Y." Ten years ago they may have been running around your store asking their parents to purchase items FOR them, but now they have their own disposable income.
Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to get more Millennials in your doors:
1. They grew up with technology
When it comes to technology, it is like second nature to Millennials. They grew up with cell phones, computers in school and some may have even read their college textbooks on a screen rather than a page. They have plenty of ways to access information from anywhere. Millennials are not only accessing information from computers, but laptops, tablets and phones! Some fast solutions to their even faster lifestyles:
- Mention in your emails that discounts will be included if you show the email at the cash register on a cell phone.
- Share your sales, news and promotions on social media sites as well as email and traditional media. Luckily, SnapRetail makes this easy for our subscribers with an option to automatically repurpose an email for social media.
- Run Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest-exclusive promotions or contests.
- Invest in offering a smartphone app.
2. They have different priorities than older generations
Since Millennials cover a wide span of ages, your customers can range anywhere from an 18-year-old girl looking for dorm accessories to a 27-year-old father looking for a gift for his young son. Every customer is different, but Forbes.com had this to say about the spending priorities of young adult consumers: "Whereas older adults prioritized family-focused expenditures… today's Millennials spend their money on themselves, primarily on technology and travel."
There IS good news when it comes to Millennial shopping habits. According to a study done by Edelman Digital, 40% of Millennials claimed to prefer buying local. Appeal to Millennials' preferences by:
- Emphasizing the "shop local" movement in your marketing messages. Take note of important events such as Independent Retailer Month (July) and Small Business Saturday (November).
- Focusing on what products can do for individual customers in your messaging. How will this benefit them and their busy lives?
3. They love "sharable" purchases
When a Millennial loves a product, everyone knows. And if they hate it, the same rule applies. Millennials love to share their product feedback on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and any other medium possible. As much as they love telling others what to buy, they also look to the web to make their own buying decisions. Another Edelman study revealed that 42% of Millennials check four or more sources when they are trying to decide whether to pay for a product or service. This may be due to the way Millennials connect to products and what purchasing these products says about them. According to casualliving.com, "Sharability of the experience and 'association' are twice as important to Millennials as to Boomers. Millennials don't only think about how they should share their thoughts on a product, they think of how associating themselves with the product will make them look. Give them something to talk about by:
- Claim online listings on sites such as Yelp, Foursquare and Facebook places and encourage customers to check in and review.
- Encourage customers to add photos of themselves using purchases or tweet at your store to let you know how much they love their purchase or experience.
Marketing to Millennials is crucial since they are largest age group of consumers in the world. In addition to the size of this market, they are highly educated and racially diverse. The qualities of this age group in conjunction with their increasing buying power makes them worth the adjustments in your marketing.
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