"Millennials want it all and they want it now." - Guven Ordun, Research Gate
Millennials, Generation Y - buzzwords which we hear all the time. The primary target group aged between 22-35 years old have certain expectations in mind when they go shopping and their demands continue to grow exponentially.
Some prevalent trends which grace this tech-savvy generation include the influence of social media, aesthetics and more recently, the importance of protecting the environment and fighting for social justice.
This blog post will look into the five main contributors in successful targeting of the millennial shopper.
- Social Media
- Inspirational Content Marketing
- Digital Product Advice and Guided Selling Solutions
- Customer Service
- Omnichannel accessibility
1. Social Media
Source: Facebook PlayStation
Top of the list has to be social media. Generation Y spends over 2 hours on social media per day and this phenomenon is not slowing down any time soon. Social media also continues to develop as something more than networking amongst friends and has become the go-to medium for people to be inspired, shop, leave reviews, interact and share experiences.
Thousands of shops and retailers have started investing serious money in social media to attract more customers and increase sales, and why wouldn't they? Social media is the holy grail for marketers and has made the targeting of all ages, genders, personalities and demographics so much easier.
PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT AND INFLUENCERS
With the rise of Instagram, millennials have proven that they are crazy for visual content and are easily influenced by what their favorite celebrities are doing, wearing, eating or where they are going on holiday.
Take for example Meghan Markle's Sarah Flint ballet flats, which were spotted online and consequently sold out minutes later. People feel good about themselves when they know that they are wearing the same shoes as an actress, sports star or influential personality and if they are die-hard fans, then they will undoubtedly flock to the shops and buy every product which they see their idol wearing; regardless of whether they can truly afford it or not.
Source: Sarah Flint https://www.sarahflint.com/
Source: Meghan Markle Style Blog http://meghanstyle.org/
There are influencers in every industry - you just have to find them. Previously, businesses would only invest in influencers with at least 500k followers but this prerequisite no longer exists and companies see value in gifting even those with smaller numbers.
Source: Instagram @tagheuer
SOCIAL MEDIA SHOPPING
Source: Instagram @uniqlo
Promoting your products via social media is an easy way to get a wide reach and directly connect with your customers. Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram also have new shopping features which allow you to insert product tags and scan barcodes which link directly to the checkout page. Competitions, giveaways, coupons and vouchers are also appreciated by customers and allow them to get involved and interact with your brand on their favorite social media channel.
2. Inspirational Content Marketing
Source: Instagram @gopro
Hand in hand with social media comes good quality content. Inspiring content which users love will gather support and attention from genuine followers onto your page, as well as save you some money on paid-ads. Target groups and personas are not limited to gender, demographics, lifestyle choices and income but also generation. Generation takes all factors into account and since people from the same generation have lived through the same events, experienced advances in technology together, share similar values, etc - they are an ideal target group.
Visual content should be of professional quality and written content should engage the reader, maybe teach them something new or leave a positive impression on them. Give your readers something to think about, something to discuss or simply something to make them smile.
Unfortunately, not all businesses have the budget to invest in marketing resources, however, free copyright websites such as pexels and unsplash provide a large range of professional, copyright-free images and you can find freelance content writers who charge at an hourly rate to provide you content as and when you may need it.
Content which is in vogue at the moment relates to philanthropical issues of social injustice as well as protecting the environment and discussion of ethics and sustainability.
Source: Instagram @thebodyshop
Source: Instagram @thefemalecompany
Of course online retail is huge and vital for survival but brick and mortar businesses are still not dead and there are measures to be taken to keep them alive. For example, traditional storefronts and displays have become outdated and customers are on the search for exciting and interesting designs which provide them with more than a shopping experience. The kind of experience which is "Instagrammable". Take the example of American fashion retailer Abercrombie&Fitch who across all their stores worldwide have topless male models at the entrance for excitable customers waiting in the queues outside to get their photo taken.
Other popular and innovative in-store trends include: huge flower garlands, interactive gaming stations, in-store DJs, pop-up food stalls and in-store devices which can be linked up to the internet to provide a more fluid shopping experience for not only your customers, but your staff too.
3. Digital Product Advice & Guided Selling Solutions
Douglas Gift Finder https://bit.ly/2HBNunv
ONLINE GUIDED SELLING SOLUTIONS
Generation Y are complaining that their online shopping experience isn't personalized enough. Customers lack good-quality advice online and in a world of choice overload, they are becoming easily frustrated and consequently leaving your shop empty-handed. Many online shops have become overcrowded with products which are difficult to navigate from the user's point of view.
Product Guides act like a virtual sales assistant who can give you advice and guide you to the right product. They do this by asking a few quick and simple questions which AI-driven Guided Selling technology uses to provide you with intelligent recommendations based on your individual needs.
OFFLINE GUIDED SELLING SOLUTIONS
Product advisers are also useful accompaniments in-store and can aide your employees when trying to help customers find their perfect product while also giving them a better product overview. In-store Product Guides can also be used as a helping hand in your busier stores or at peak times. For example, instead of allowing customers to stand and wait to speak with the next available member of staff, they can receive advice independently with the self-sufficient Product Guide.
4. Excellent Customer Service
Customers tend to expect an answer straight away, 24 hours around the clock and thanks to advances in customer service tools, this is now possible! In addition to human exchange, you can also automate your customer service with online chatbots and troubleshooting guides. Chatbots and troubleshooting guides assist your business with out of hours requests as well as deal with issues which can save your support team valuable time.
5. Omnichannel Accessibility
Generation Y are workaholics who lead fast-paced and active lifestyles. They need access to your shop on every available device they own; from desktop to mobile, watch and IPad. Not only this, but they want it to work as smoothly on their phone as it would on their laptop. Omnichannel accessibility also means that your website is in sync across all channels and your customers can conveniently access everything your website has to offer regardless of the channel they are using.
So, what are the benefits of adapting to Generation Y's needs?
- They are the largest generation in history
- Predicted to become huge spenders
- All are of legal age to buy any kind of product
- All are of working age which means they probably have the disposable income to shop, shop, shop!