COMMENTARY

How retailers can meet millennials in the middle

How retailers can meet millennials in the middle

Photo by iStock.com

By Steve Davidson, vice president, Fortegra Warranty Product Group

Millennials are trendsetters, carrying the clout to significantly impact retail, influencing everything from shopping preferences to advertising choices. Take this habit, for example: in a recent Accenture survey, 41 percent of respondents said they'll seek out an item in-store, but then try to find it cheaper online — a practice known as 'showrooming.' Millennial behaviors like this — utilizing digital services to get the best bang for buck — are resetting retailer expectations.

How can retailers adjust to keep up with this savvy generation? Let's take a look.

Keep it personal

Experiences are important to consumers of all ages, but particularly millennials. Keep this in mind when training your sales team to cater toward your younger patrons. They not only expect you to have the answers, but to also be able to deliver them in a way that feels warm and personal. And you should make it a point to meet them where they are. (Hint: it's probably on their smartphones). From Twitter, to Snapchat, to Instagram, there are multiple ways to creatively capture their attention while building awareness for your brand.  

A great example of this is Target's recent campaign with Harry's, a men's shaving brand. When it was time for the retail giant to announce their new partnership, they did so using a Harry's branded Snapchat filter that gave users a clean shave with facial recognition. Not only did this capture the audience's attention online, but also in-store. When customers walked into Target, they were familiar with both the campaign and the Harry's name, brand awareness that increases the likelihood of a purchase.

Provide security

Consumers always want to feel confident in a new purchase, but especially your millennials. How can you meet this need? Two words: warranty offerings. Whether it's protecting a new couch from the dog or safeguarding a new laptop from drops, you can provide them with a sense of security for their new product. And by partnering with a third-party warranty provider, you can customize these plans to further personalize the experience for your millennial customers.

Tap into effective data

With today's technology, you can also easily track your customers' purchase path. Take a look at what they've bought in the past, or keep an eye on what they've put in their cart that hasn't made it to the final transaction. Using this data, you can target customers accordingly, showing you're paying attention to their interests in order to provide a personalized experience.

Additionally, you can employ data to promote deals. More than half of millennials say they look for coupons online while shopping in-store. With data tracking, you can see what they're looking for and present them with online coupons, leading to that final transaction while their wallet is on site.

By 2019, it's predicted millennials will be the largest living adult generation. As the research shows, they'll have a huge impact on the future of retail and continue to consistently influence trends. Catering your retail business to this generation doesn't have to be difficult — in fact, it can be your biggest benefit.


Topics: Consumer Behavior, Customer Experience, Trends / Statistics


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