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The 10 Characteristics of Millennial Shoppers You Need to Know

Millennials – they’re an entitled, phone-obsessed generation so millennial shoppers therefore don’t have much pull in the world of ecommerce, right?

Wrong. Very wrong.

In fact, millennials are likely some of your most critical customers. If you’re looking to drive ecommerce sales in 2017, you can’t afford not to focus on millennials. In addition to being the largest generation in U.S. history, with more than 92 million members, millennials also have distinctly different shopping and purchasing habits than generations past. Because of this, any brand that wants to market to them successfully needs to understand a thing or two about their purchasing process and how to cater to it effectively.

10 Things Characteristics of Millennial Shoppers Every Ecommerce Store Needs to Know

Whether you’re trying to attract millennials to your brand or improve your current millennial marketing strategy, knowing these ten things will help guide the way:

1.  They Value Authenticity

Millennials are the kings and queens of keeping it real, and they expect brands to do the same. While advertising to baby boomers often involved inflated claims and infomercial-esque styling, marketing to millennials requires authenticity and transparency. Millennials see right through fake, over the top marketing –  so keep it authentic.

2. Social Media Is Number One for Shopping Information

34% of millennial shoppers report that they like brands that use social media more than brands that don’t. What’s more, 47% report their purchasing habits are influenced by social media, compared to 19% of consumers in other age groups.

3. They Embrace Loyalty Programs

Cost-conscious and dedicated to the brands they love, 80% of millennials participate in loyalty programs. In fact, millennial shoppers are more likely than shoppers in any other generation to keep shopping with a brand because it offers loyalty rewards.

4. They Want to Engage with Brands on Social Networks

kfc snapchat ad millennial shoppers

According to Forbes, 62% of millennial shoppers state that interacting with a brand on social media makes them more likely to become a customer. What’s more, 42% of millennials want to work with the brands they like to co-create products. With these stats in mind, it’s clear that brands who engage their millennial consumers on social are much more likely to enjoy larger ecommerce growth.

5. They Respond to Personalized Marketing

cocacola coke shareacoke millennial shoppers

Think of the Starbucks White Cup Contest and Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign. These are both examples of customized marketing that millennial shoppers love. The Share a Coke campaign was so successful that after launch in 2014 Coca-Cola Co. saw sales rise for the first time in more than a decade, thanks to its personalized bottle campaign. Dedicated to uniqueness and independence, millennials want to feel like brands see and hear them. 

6. Price Is Critical, But Brands Matter

While 57% of millennial shoppers compare prices in-store, 60% report being “often or always” loyal to the brands they like. As mentioned earlier, loyalty is essential. If you put in your time and earn the trust of millennials, your brand will likely enjoy positive ROI down the road.

7. They Favor Word of Mouth Recommendations

Millennial shoppers prefer to get direct recommendations from friends and trust the products their friends like. If you can use advertising subtly through influencer marketing or creative social ads, you can create social channels that millennials will want have as part of their feed. Best of all, they’ll share their love of your channels with their friends. Word of mouth is good as gold! Find out how you can get more reviews on social media, here.

8. They Want Brands to Have a Mission

warby parker social consciousness

Today, 50% of millennial shoppers say they enjoy purchasing products from brands that support charities or causes, like Tom’s and Warby Parker do. Meanwhile, 75% of millennials report that it is fairly important to them that a company gives back to society, which may explain the rampant popularity of eco-conscious brands like Patagonia and REI or MEC.

9. They’re More Likely to Make Impulse Purchases Than Any Other Generation

Thanks to deep pocketbooks and a comfort with all things tech, millennials are more willing to make impulsive purchases than their older predecessors. According to one Gallup study, 42% of millennials make at least one impulse purchase per month – which is good news for ecommerce businesses like you, right?

10. The Purchasing Power of Millennials Is Estimated to Be $170 Billion Per Year

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Millennials have a significant amount of purchasing power, and they intend to use it! With an estimated $170 billion in buying power annually, it’s clear that no company that wants to succeed in the modern day can afford to ignore millennial consumers.

Boost Ecommerce Sales by Marketing to Millennial Shoppers

If you want to make it big in the modern ecommerce environment, you’ve got to market to millennials. Thanks to their massive purchasing power, millennials also represent some of the most influential customers out there, and they’re a critical piece of the ecommerce puzzle.

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2 responses to “The 10 Characteristics of Millennial Shoppers You Need to Know”

  1. Rich Seraphim says:

    What they say, and what they do, are entirely different things.

    Data behind what drives millennial conversions with hard stats would be more useful. Millennials love to virtue-signal.

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