The Best Ways to Reach Out to Millennial Shoppers
According to Oxford Living Dictionaries, Millennials are people “reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.” However, there is some debate about the years making up the Millennial generation. Some place it as early as 1980 and as late as 2000, and anywhere in between. Currently, a generally accepted range of years is 1981 to 1996. Despite the disparity, there is no denying that Millennials make up a unique group with unique buying habits. Businesses hoping to reach this audience must modify their sales techniques accordingly. Take a look at these tips for selling to Millennial shoppers:
- Use their channels of communication
- Keep your pitch short and sweet
- Tap into emotion
- Be transparent
- Treat them well
- Limit human interaction
- Use omni-channel selling
- Price your products competitively
- Create the right environment
Use Their Channels of Communication
Millennials were the first generation to grow up with technology such as the internet and smartphones. As such, they’ve adopted these channels as their preferred methods of communication. Businesses hoping to reach these audiences must adapt to their channels in order to be successful. One study suggests that Millennial shoppers prefer to communicate in this order: texts/online messages, email, social media, phone calls, then in-person interactions. In addition, Millennials also respond well to social proof such as a recommendation from friends or family. Therefore, devoting energy to improving word-of-mouth marketing is also an effective tactic for businesses.
Keep Your Pitch Short and Sweet
The pace of the world is increasing. As such, the attention of Millennials is pulled in every which way. Attention spans are also decreasing. All of this means that business have less time to capture and keep the attention of Millennial shoppers. Because of this, your sales pitch must be modified accordingly. Something short and sweet is more likely to be successful, compared to the longer pitches that persuade older generations to buy. In general, the best pitch tells prospective customers what’s in it for them from the very first line.
Tap into Emotion
Millennials are part of a group of people known as “social consumers.” In essence, they care more widely and deeply about issues affecting the world at large. By tapping into the emotions that guide this cohort of shoppers, you can boost your sales and build a loyal audience for your brand. There are two effective ways to do this. The first is storytelling as a method of advertising. The second is through championing a social cause relevant to your business.
Be Transparent with Millennial Shoppers
Gone are the days of making sweeping promises with few facts to back them up. Thanks to Millennials’ ability to research and fact-check companies online, a business found to be promoting false claims or withholding information can say good-bye to support from Millennials. If you want to reach out to this audience, start by promoting complete transparency with your brand. Types of transparency might include releasing a list of ingredients and/or allergens in a product, describing sourcing and manufacturing processes, and earning respectable certifications.
Treat Them Well
Most businesses face stiff competition. If you sell a product, chances are so does another company. Millennial shoppers are aware of this and aren’t afraid to shop from all businesses in an industry if they must. Because of this, one of the best ways to earn and retain Millennial audiences is to treat them well. Part of this tactic includes rewarding customers for choosing your business. You can do this by introducing a loyalty program or sending them tailored offers based on their interests. Another part is to have quick, courteous customer service, something all business should strive for regardless of target demographic. The better you treat your customers, the more likely they are to remain loyal to your brand.
Limit Human Interaction
Although Millennials want to be treated well by a business, they also prefer that treatment to come from a distance. In general, this audience doesn’t respond well to in-person interactions, unlike older generations. In order to capitalize on this trait, prioritize customer service through live chat or email instead of by phone. In general, it’s also best not to call this audience soliciting survey responses, touting new products, and more. Finally, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, Millennials also prefer to be left alone to do their shopping and would rather seek out a sales associate on their own.
Use Omni-Channel Selling
Millennials are the first generation to adopt new sales platforms like ecommerce and social media. However, the notion that they only use these platforms is false. Millennial shoppers frequently use a mix of online and in-store research when deciding to buy a product. That makes selling it through multiple channels more important than ever. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, complement it with an online store as well. If your business is online only, opening a brick-and-mortar store might not fit your brand. However, use social media sites like Instagram and Facebook to also sell your products. In addition, all businesses with an online presence must make sure their sites are mobile-friendly. More than half of all smartphone users have made a purchase with their mobile device and popularity of this platform is only continuing to grow.
Price Your Products Competitively
For the most part, Millennials are incredibly adept at price-matching products. They also have no qualms buying from the business offering the lowest price. Because of this, always price your products competitively. If a shopper notices your price is significantly higher than other products on the market, you’re more likely to lose that sale. Remember to keep an eye on competitors as well, in order to launch similar sales and adjust prices as needed.
Create the Right Environment
Finally, the way your shopping environment looks has an impact on Millennial shoppers. For example, this audience prefers well-designed physical stores that promote a calm experience, rather than cluttered and noisy stores. In terms of online stores, clean, photo-centric, and easy-to-navigate sites are more likely to win the hearts and sales of Millennials.
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