As a retailer, if you’re not concerned with retail millennial shoppers' wants and needs, you’re already behind. Millennials aren’t the young generation they used to be. They are now aged between their 20’s to mid 30's and account for 28% of all daily per-person purchasing. And yes, catering to them will be fundamental to succeeding in the retail industry for years to come. But how can you appeal to a generation that is so diverse and expecting?
Start With Mobile
Most shopping millennials have a smartphone. Is your site accessible? Do you have an app? If you don’t consider the millennial mobile shopping experience important, consider that 35% of millennials would consider shopping through their phones, but find it hard to do so. Therefore, not only should you have a mobile site, you must make sure it’s accessible. Or even get an app. Make it is easy for millennials on the go to quickly purchase something so they remember how fast and convenient the service was for them.
Most millennials spend time on social media every day. There lies a great opportunity to not only display products but communicate a brand image millennials can relate to. You have to form a relationship with them not only as customers. These days, Instagram is especially important to get across to millennial shoppers. It now allows customers to buy through the social media platform, and displays items, especially clothing, as an experience. Instagram also drives the most interaction per each post compared to the other social media platforms.
Retail millennial shoppers love experiences. In fact, 72% of millennials value experiences more than physical things. As a retailer, this presents some challenges, including the challenge of how to entice a customer to experience your store instead of just buying something from it. How can you make your retail store unique, and what services can you offer? How do you stand out? The answers to these questions could mean the difference in retaining your millennial customers.
Showrooming and Webrooming
You may think of millennials as one whole group, but in reality, older millennials and younger millennials shop differently. Surprisingly, younger millennial shoppers tend to enjoy the in-store experience more and are more likely to frequent their local retail store instead of buying online. Older millennials, however, tend to see things in store and buy online. Either way, buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), is a great and appealing differentiator for millennials to combine these different ways of shopping. 47% of millennials would opt for this option. This would entice millennial shoppers to both look at your online store, and your physical store.
The BARE Minimum.....
Do you notice something about each of these factors? None of them can be complete without providing a seamless omni-channel experience for your customers. Each factor requires the connection of purchasing channels in a way that your customers can choose which channel suits them, or even use multiple channels in the entire purchasing process. Therefore, the minimum to provide for your retail millennial shoppers is omni-channel. After that, you can reach the level of the expectations that they have set for retailers.
Rida Talpur is OrderDynamics’ Jr. Marketing Coordinator, and resident retail-loving millennial. She has completed a B.A. from the University of Toronto as a specialist in Journalism. Rida has interned with prominent names in Canadian journalism including The Toronto Star, and Canadian Living Magazine.