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Millennials: 8 Tips to Engage

There are approximately 73 million millennials in the US, and like any generation, they have observable tendencies that when acknowledged can help you positively connect with them at a retail level. This is important to keep in mind as they transition from entry level positions at their companies to positions of greater level of income. Soon, it will be millennials that have the purchasing power. Companies will need to adapt their overall selling approaches to be compatible with the millennial way of thinking and shopping habits. Take a look at the following millennial spending habits of the average millennial:

  • Millennials are expected to accrue more wealth by the year 2020 where they are trended to spend $1.4 trillion.
  • Average yearly expenditures of $47,112.
  • Shop in a physical retail store: 11%
  • Millennials average yearly income is around $56,099 before taxes.
  • They spend two thirds the amount spent by Generation Xers and Baby Boomers on entertainment. [Source: BLS]
  • Millennials make 54% of purchases online.
  • 63% of Millennials complete transactions on their smartphones. [Source: UPS]
  • 83% of Millennials are not concerned about security while online shopping. [Source: UPS]
  • 41% of Millennial smartphone users have completed an in-store transaction with their mobile device. [Source: UPS]
  • 60% of Millennials prefer to purchase generic brands over name brands. [Source: Millennial Marketing]
  • 40% of Millennials refer to online reviews and testimonials before purchasing a product. [Source: Millennial Marketing]
  • 3 out of 4 Millennials prefer to buy an experience over something desirable. [Source: Eventbrite]
  • 63% of Millennials in the United States use ad blockers while online. [Source: Anatomy Media]

ONLINE IS THEIR NATURAL State of being

Millennials don’t recall a time without the availability of the internet and advanced technology. For the entirety of their lives, they have had instant access to social media and websites – simply stated, millennials expect access to information in a matter of seconds. So what implications does this have for retail sales environments? An omni-channel approach to retailing is imperative moving forward. There is a comfort level millennials find by sifting through information online and doing their own research. That means your employees should be less concerned about delivering concrete product information and more focused on guiding the consumer based on their unique scenario. Don’t think of yourself as a salesperson, but more as a consultant helping the consumer make the best purchase based on their needs.

MILLENNIALS WANT TO MAKE An impact

Simply put, millennials tend to be very community and civically minded. For them, it is significant to help others not just in their own communities but around the globe. Take for example the statistic that an increased number of millennials are now taking jobs in public service. To add emphasis, studies have shown millennials are averse to organizations they view as driven by greed. Consequently, when talking with millennials the conversation around your product or service can’t be limited to your products only and how you can help their bottom line. There has to be an added layer that deepens the conversation and illustrates the social influence of your organization. Be sure to provide an authentic look into your organization and brand to tell your company’s story and the positive impact it is having on the lives of others. Initiatives and goals that extend beyond dollar signs and profits strongly resonate with millennials and can provide your company credibility.

SOCIAL MEDIA Matters – millennials ARE MOST LIKELY FOLLOW A BRAND VIA SOCIAL NETWORKING (95%)

(Source: MarketingSherpa) As mentioned earlier, they are the next generation of decision makers, think about who your demographic is and figure out which account they would most likely follow to gain the most exposure, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Youtube Instagram or all of them! Inside of social media, brick & mortar, and online, work to be a good listener and internalize each individual customer’s unique situation. Provide information that is personalized and relevant to them. Help them confidently make a purchasing decision by answering their questions in a collaborative way. Rather than one-way communication in which you are pitching a product, have a discussion about how you can work together to achieve their goals.

YOUTUBE recently POSTED that there has been over 40 BILLION ALL-TIME VIEWS FOR BRANDED CONTENT

(Source: ReelSEO) Video continues to grow and it is not surprising that this is a vital part of any marketing mix.  A quick, to the point video, truly makes a stronger impact on your brand messaging than simple text posts.  It allows you to communicate your brand promise and how your organization is making an impact in the lives of others.

PRODUCTS WERE THE TOP CONTENT TYPES FOR THE TOP 200 GLOBAL BRANDS IN TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT

(Source: Hootsuite) Instagram users are aware that they are following product pages and acknowledge that they are going to be marketed to in some type of way. This means they aren’t trying to opt-out of ads like clicking “Skip Ad” or clicking out of a pop-up ad, they are going directly to your page and brand, so make sure your Instagram page is prepped and ready to be followed! This also allows your company to post who they are through well thought out photos and gain exposure by what they produce, but in a more creative way than a simple text post. The addition of hashtags will also make your account pop up in more keyword searches, the more unique and creative the hashtag the more searches you will get for your brand!

Links in Tweets ACCOUNT FOR 92% OF ALL USER INTERACTION

(Source: HubSpot) Since Twitter’s slogan is “It’s what’s happening” their user’s post and interact with tweets of 140 characters or less. This means your post has to be direct and to the point, the best way to do this is a link that can go into further detail. Use a catchy headline and a few hashtags to draw attention to your post to drive traffic to your link.

VISUALs matter – CONTENT IS MORE THAN 40 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO GET SHARED THAN OTHER TYPES OF CONTENT

(Source: HubSpot) The magnet that draws people to your products or brand are strong visuals.  Once you have them interacting, the content must be there too.  One of the first steps Millennials (and most consumers these days) take before purchasing anything is they look online for reviews and the company’s social media pages. These can either make or break a company if they either aren’t up to date or have poor reviews. “Word of mouth” via social media can make a stronger impact than a basic TV ads.

TITLEs don’t matter

Lastly, for millennials, it is important that no matter your position in a company, you view them as a peer. While most organizations have a certain level of a hierarchy, millennials prefer a flat organizational structure. This isn’t to say millennials don’t respect your accomplishments, achievements, and experience. They do and it’s for this reason they will be eager to work with you! In conclusion, millennials carefully consider the companies and people with which they will work, but once they do they practice strong brand loyalty. By putting in the effort on the front end to positively connect with millennials, you can gain lifetime consumers and valued partners.