How do Millennials Shop?
Millennials are expected to spend nearly $1.4 trillion dollars in 2019. They are a purchasing force to be reckoned with, but they can also be difficult to understand for those who did not grow up fluent in the world of the internet. They seem to be full of contradictions! They value customer service, yet walk through stores with their head in their phone comparing in-store prices to those online. They are sensitive to price, but they will still spend more money on items that are environmentally friendly. Below you will find 3 shopping habits of millennials and specific tips on how you can capitalize on them.
Habit 1) Millennials prefer to shop online rather than in store.
Ecommerce! Nobody shops online more than millennials. Even when millennials do shop in store, they are often comparing prices and reading reviews online. Here are some tips on how you can make your online store as Millennial-friendly as possible:
- Reviews Reviews Reviews!
A study found that the majority of millennials value shopper opinions found on a company’s website more than their family or friend’s recommendations. Make sure you leave space for your shoppers to leave reviews wherever your product is available for purchase online.
Pro Tip: Having trouble getting reviews? Offer your product at a discounted price in return for an honest review.
- Mobile Friendly
Millennials shop online using their smartphones more than any other device. I know this one is a no-brainer, but make sure your website is just as easy to use on a mobile device as a laptop. There is nothing more frustrating than turning your phone sideways and only being able to view half the website.
Pro tip: Apps are always mobile friendly. Develop an app! This will help with brand loyalty too.
- Installment Payments
Millennials are especially sensitive to prices. Adding a checkout option such as Splitit allows them to split their purchase into a few interest-free payments over a few months. This is especially valuable for higher ticket value items that shoppers would not be able to afford otherwise.
Pro Tip: There are a lot of consumer finance options out there that offer multiple payments similar to Splitit. However, along with no interest, late fees, or loan application, Splitit is unique in that it allows shoppers to make payments using their existing credit card rather than opening a new credit line, thus not affecting the shoppers credit score.
Habit 2) Millennials purchases are affected by social media.
72% of millennials using Instagram have made purchases influenced by Instagram posts. Here are a few tips on how to use social media to reach more millennials.
- Have a social media presence
Creating and up keeping an Instagram, Facebook, twitter etc. account is a great way to boost sales. Not only are your followers reminded of your brand every time you post, but your audience is also more likely to engage with you, you will have more creative options on presenting your products, and your brand will be easier to search for online.
Pro Tip: Don’t know how to effectively create a social media presence? Hire a young Millennial!
- Reach out to Influencers
Paying social media influencers recommend your product is one of the most effective and efficient new forms of advertising because it allows you to target your audience.
Pro Tip: Find influencers who are sincerely interested in your product. Nothing is more convincing than authenticity!
- Social influence
While millennials might not be as connected in real life, they sure know how to communicate on social media. Encourage your customers to recommend your product on social media, and reward them if their friends then go buy your product.
Pro Tip: Give their friends a discount for successful referrals too!
- Social Media Advertisements
59% of millennials report that social media advertisements prompt them to begin researching a product. Since millennials spend so much time on social media everyday, advertising on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, etc, is a great option.
Pro Tip: Instagram/Facebook ads allow you to target specific demographics and regions even on a small scale. Target shoppers who are most likely to be interested in your brand.
Habit 3) Millennials lifestyle and values influence their shopping decisions.
Millennials are especially value oriented when it comes to shopping, making Wholefoods and fair trade chocolate especially popular among this generation. Here are some tips on how to demonstrate your values as a company.
- Define your mission
57% of millennial women report that their purchase decisions are affected by a brand’s values. Make sure you are clear that your mission as a company reflects the values of your customer base.
Pro Tip: Donate a small portion of your profits to a charity that is related to your product and/or your customer base.
- Be environmentally friendly
Can you use recycled materials at a reasonable cost? What can you do to show that you respect the environment? Give your shoppers another reason to want to want to buy your product!
Pro Tip: Use hashtags on social media to reflect your values and how your company demonstrates those values.
- Appeal to lifestyle
Millennials buy products that will reflect their lifestyle. What type of lifestyle does your company associate with? If you sell watches, incorporate content in your website, advertising and social media about the values of timeliness, responsibility, and the importance of quality and first impressions. If you sell running shoes, associate your brand with the lifestyle of adventure, physical health, and determination.
Pro Tip: A retailer’s ability to make a millennial smile is 33% more important than it is to a baby boomer. Incorporate humor along with pictures and videos of people who use your product smiling and having fun on your website and social media. Smiles are contagious.
Although millennials can be difficult to reach, following these tips will get you well on your way to reaching out to this young generation.