Like it or not, millennials make things happen. They’re the most connected, tech-savvy generation to ever exist, and currently make up the biggest part of the global workforce. What that means from an eCommerce stance is that they have enormous purchasing power - to the extent that unless you can 100% guarantee that they’ll never be interested in your brand, you cannot afford to ignore them.
Don’t worry. The millennial demographic isn’t all that difficult to understand. Here are a few tips to help you get to know this important audience a little better - and to make them likelier to purchase your products.
Be Social, And Stay Authentic
Not surprisingly, my first bit of advice is that to reach a millennial audience, you need to turn to social media. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the best marketing tools in your arsenal. I’d also strongly recommend using a tool like Shopify’s Social Shop Wave or Magento's Sociable.
A word of advice for your social presence, though - whatever brand personality you come up with, don’t ever try to lie, and never treat social media as another sales platform. Millennials hate feeling like they’re being manipulated. And don’t think you’re clever enough to pull the wool over their eyes and directly sell them something over social media.
Trust me - you aren’t.
Deliver A Brand Experience
Most millennials don’t really care much about names or logos, believe it or not. They’re more interested in what the brands they support represent. While that doesn’t make your brand name and logo any less important (even if a customer doesn’t really pay attention to a brand name, they’ll still avoid a company if that name is offensive to them), it means you need to focus more on the experience your brand offers - your personality and the way you convey your ideals.
Spring For Organic Marketing, And Ditch The Hard Sell
Hard sells are a hard fail for a millennial audience. Instead, informative or entertaining content that’s designed both to appeal to and empower them is the real road to success. Killer content that’s actually valuable - and which has an objective beyond just selling a product - is the key here.
“Millennials want to feel like your content was created with their interest (not their wallet) in mind,” reads a piece on the Hubspot blog. “When this is the case, they are more organically introduced to purchasing your products or services. Without ever being “pushy,” your educational content helps build strong brand-consumer relationships. People appreciate honesty, and brands with transparent campaigns win.”
Product Information Is Critical
Great product descriptions and photos are essential for your success in this area - and not just on your storefront. Allowing reviews and product pages to be shared elsewhere is, as discussed earlier, something you need to do. Make details on your products and business available through as many channels as possible.
“Throughout [my] omnichannel shopping journey, product information was key,” writes marketer Glori Blatt. “Product Information doesn't just come from the retailer: social sharing and product reviews are a crucial part of the buying process. Great pictures and positive reviews both on Instagram and various retail sites [were also] important for my final purchase decision.”
Don’t Paint Them All With The Same Brush
Although most millennials do share certain traits in common - a propensity for social media and mobile use, for example - they are not all the same. Marketing to them is, therefore, a bit more complex than you’d expect. You cannot look at them as a singular demographic; market research is more critical for a millennial audience than ever before.
“You have to drill down deep into the millennial generation to come up with the right marketing campaign for you,” writes Forbes contributor AJ Agrawal. “Millennials are the most diverse generation to have ever existed. You’ll find millennials consisting of everyone from single mothers to middle-class professionals. You’ll find them in every single social class and industry from apps to fashion trends and marketing.”
Minding Your Millennials
Millennials are the consumers of the future. You need to come to an understanding of who they are, how they shop, and what resonates with them. Because if you don’t do it now, you’ll be scrambling to play catch-up when it’s already too late.
About the author -- Graeme Caldwell works as an inbound marketer for Nexcess, a leading provider of Magento and WordPress hosting. Follow Nexcess on Twitter at @nexcess, Like them on Facebook and check out their tech/hosting blog, https://blog.nexcess.net/.