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Engaging Millennial Consumers

Posted December 21, 2020

Young professionals at computer smiling; Millennial Consumer Behavior

When you hear the term “Millennials” you may automatically picture a group of young college students, but don’t forget, Millennials and Gen Z are two separate demographics.

Most Millennials, for example, are in their 30s now and are highly educated, which means they have better jobs and more buying power than before. But it’s important to note that Millennials’ buying habits are much different than prior generations. 

Millennials don’t purchase products from just “anyone.” 

They do their research first, and what they’re looking for are brands that connect with them on a personal level and ones that support bigger causes that impact the world around them.

To help you target this socially conscious audience, you first need to understand their goals, challenges, and unique spending habits. 

Understanding Millennial Consumer Behavior

In a 2020 report by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Millennials’ buying habits can be summed up in two ways: (1) “Millennials are savvy, price-conscious shoppers, yet they also tend to place a high value on experiences, perhaps more so than on the acquisition of material goods…” and (2) “…Millennials are also keen to make a difference in the world, and thus favor companies that prize social responsibility and environmental sustainability.”

So, to recap: the goals of Millennials are to support brands that provide experiences (i.e., help them create memories, learn something new, cater to their personal needs, etc.) and work to make the world a better, safer place to live. 

What Challenges Do Millennials Face? 

Well, it’s not surprising that although Millennials have better job opportunities, they also have student loan debt that they’re trying to pay off simultaneously. However, this doesn’t mean Millennials are unwilling to spend their hard-earned capital. Instead, it means they’ve become more selective about the types of products and brands they choose. 

What’s even more interesting is they’re willing to pay more for something if it aligns with their values and goals: “Half of Millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences over material things [—]and they are willing to pay extra for it. In fact, many brands already recognize this and are turning to experiential marketing to try to connect,” (Forbes).

How Can You Harness Millennial Shopping Trends?

Another Millennial buying habit we should note here is that unlike other generations, Millennials will switch brands. What this means is you need to incorporate new technologies and omni-channel experiences to keep their attention (Hubspot). 

Here are three tips to help you harness the power of Millennial spending habits and connect to this audience on a personal level:

  1. Build Your Online Presence

As noted earlier, before committing to a final purchase, millennials like to do their research online. Remember, these are tech savvy individuals who are rarely ever without their smartphones. 

This means they’ll be searching on your website, reading online reviews, and checking out your social media platforms for information. Be sure your channels are all updated with current information and inventory and that your branding looks and sounds consistent across the board. 

  1. Tell Your Brand Story 

Millennials are looking at the purpose and the people behind a business, not just the merchandise. Share who you are, what you do, and how you help your local community. If you support environmental causes or donate a portion of your proceeds to a community organization, for example, don’t keep this news a secret; share it! 

  1. Personalize the Shopping Experience

From loyalty programs and member discounts to easy pickup and free delivery, there are many ways you can personalize the shopping experience for your customers. You may decide to implement a “no-risk” purchase policy that allows members, who sign up for your newsletter or follow you on Facebook, to try products at home and return (or exchange) them easily if they are not completely satisfied. 

This type of tactic will give customers more confidence to try new products and choose you for future purchases—after all, they’ve got nothing to lose and only everything to gain!

Give Millennial Shoppers the Experience They’re Looking For!

For more tips on how to market to your target audience, follow our blog for retail industry insights. If you’d like to talk to our leasing office about setting up your business in the heart of the Twin Cities, where you’re sure to engage millennial shoppers, contact our team today for more details. 

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