How To Target Millennials

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Start with the “Why”

Before the discussion about “how” you also need to consider “why” retailers today need to fine tune their marketing to appeal to the Millennial generation.  As the youngest of 5 adult demographic groups, the Millennials are growing in economic influence.  The 2017 Consumer Expenditure Survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Millennial mean household income increased 21% from 2014-’17, outpacing the 12.8% gain realized by Generation X.  Millennial share of total income increased from 16% to 21% during the same period.

This growing economic power is becoming evident in the retail marketplace.  Contrary to popular opinion Millennials also favor shopping at brick and mortar locations to a surprising degree with  50% of Millennial shoppers overall and 58% of younger (age 20-23) shoppers prefer to buy in-store rather than online.  Online marketing is still critical.  76% of Millennials search online before buying, then “test drive” products at a store.  67% make a purchase there, but 33% go home and buy online.  To make sure they get traffic and convert more traffic to actual sales retailers need to create a seamless brand experience in both online and traditional marketing efforts.  Here are 3 tips to get this done:

Make mobile optimization a priority:

83% of college students have smartphones, and 61% of millennials claim they could not live without their cell phones, so meet them where they are. They use their phones to search for products, check pricing, look for coupon codes, read reviews, and complete transactions, so the more mobile friendly you can make your experience, the better. And heads up: One in five will make a purchase on their phones during the back-to-school shopping season, and an even higher percentage will shop on their tablets.

Fine tune your offer:

Millennials appreciate a good deal; 96% use coupons, 9 out of 10 create a budget, and ⅔ are depositing money from each paycheck into their savings accounts. That doesn’t mean you can’t create enticing offers AND maintain your margins. A 20% discount is enough to get the attention of 78% of college students and make an impact on their purchasing decisions. Free shipping and free returns are also appealing to college-aged shoppers- 55% would take advantage of free 2-day shipping for college students.

Be direct:

Although they are internet-savvy enough to hunt down your hidden landing pages and find active coupon codes, they prefer to hear directly from you. 95% of millennials want brands to woo them, and they will respond positively to coupons and other offers mailed to their homes or sent to their inboxes. 67% of college students want to learn about a company’s student discounts in their enewsletter, and over half recommend adding a link to your student discount to your footer or on your homepage if you want to reach them.

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