The Millennial generation is a heavily sought after market by many businesses, yet few know how to tap into this demographic, which presents a major opportunity for brands. According to Forbes, the Millennial generation is the largest in history, representing $600 billion in spending opportunity. By 2020, this demographic will spend $1.4 trillion per year. In order to win over this young group, businesses must first understand it. From there, brands can create a strategy that will attract Millenials and nurture them into lifelong customers.
Getting to know Millennials
Born between 1980 and 2000, this demographic was raised on the Internet and mobile devices. Unlike baby boomers, they are impulsive, cost-conscious and tech-savvy. Millennials also grew up in a volatile economic climate. They have hefty student loans, receive lower salaries than previous generations and are experiencing high unemployment rates. Still, they are an adaptable population and early adopters of new technologies. Businesses must take advantage of these unique attributes to attract Millennials to their products and services.
The omnichannel advantage
Knowing that Millennials are the ‘Internet generation’, brick and mortar businesses must have an online presence. Businesses must also unify these two environments so that each delivers the same quality of experience. Businesses already online often miss the mark when it comes to unifying these two worlds. This is why omnichannel is a critical part of a retailer’s corporate strategy. The ease, immediacy and convenience Millennials demand of the online experience sets the bar high for physical stores. Omnichannel connects the dots between these customer touch points, which also includes mobile (more on that later). Brands risk losing Millennials to competitors if their in-store, online and mobile channels are fragmented and inconsistent.
The digital experience
On the mobile front, Millennials represent the heaviest mobile users out of any generation. Comscore found that this population spends an average of 96 hours on desktop or mobile Internet platforms. Not only are they shopping and browsing online, they are also increasingly engaged on social media platforms and apps. This presents another opportunity for brands to engage with Millennials. We discussed how brands could combine mobile strategies into the in-store experience here, but the opportunities go beyond that. Consider all the ways Millennials use mobile: They snap and share photos, take videos, use hashtags and stream content. Brands without a digital presence are at a competitive disadvantage, which makes digital and social marketing critical to their omnichannel strategies.
Leveraging data insights
Data analytics offer brands an intelligent way to glean insights on the Millennial consumer across any platform. Millennials admit they will take advantage of any channel to browse, research or buy. Given this, businesses must leverage data analytics tools to learn Millennials’ shopping behavior across all touchpoints. As we noted here, brands can use data analytics to forecast customer behavior. This enables brands to personalize their brand messages and create powerful customer experiences. With the right technology, brands can attract and engage with Millennial shoppers.
Creating a Millennial-friendly environment is a smart way to tap into this population’s spending potential. These days, we’re all bombarded with messages and advertising everywhere we interact but Millenials don’t mind this as much as other generations. Since they became true consumers, it’s all they’ve known. By understanding Millennials’ spending habits and behavior, leveraging data analytics and creating a strong omnichannel strategy, businesses win over this young population.
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