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How to Get Millennials to Shop With You

Posted by Bryan Wang
Black Friday and by extension Cyber Monday are important opportunities to grow sales.

But with the changing retail landscape where omnichannel and online shopping have seemingly taken over you may be wondering how to approach the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping events.

Read on to learn about the latest trends and developments in the world of Black Friday and Cyber Monday retailing!

Social Media Drives Sales

A newly developing trend in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales is the ability of social media to act as a channel through which shoppers make their purchasing decisions.  In 2014 $74.6 million in Black Friday and Thanksgiving day purchases came directly from social media sites with different sites producing different average order values. In 2014 Facebook brought in the highest average order value of $114.45, Pinterest came in second with $93.20 and Twitter drove sales with an average order value of $90.74.  Consider placing attractive photos of your product on Pinterest this year as the social media site saw the largest year-over-year increase in average order value, rising up by 16%.

Social media has also been proven to have the ability to drive sales via effective advertising. In 2014 Facebook ad click-through rates were up 36% on Black Friday and 66% up on Thanksgiving. Consumers are more receptive to social media advertising during this period and your brand can capitalize on this with carefully targeted and planned ads. Also don’t discount email marketing. It drove 23.9% of sales for Cyber Monday.

Millennial consumers, born between 1980 and 2000 and raised on the Internet and mobile devices, are seen to be tech-savvy and are known to be trend-setters in all industries from fashion to technology to food.

Having come of age in an uncertain economic age they are also cost-conscious and usually have heavy student loans, get lower salaries than baby boomers and other previous generations. There are also high-unemployment rates among millennials.

With 80 million millennials in the United States alone, they are a sizable chunk of all consumers. They also have $200 billion in annual buying power, despite their economic and financial troubles.

Brands, big and small, are scrambling to get them to buy with them and even retain their loyalty.

Here we outline some effective ideas for getting millennials consumers to shop with your brand.

Be Mobile

Younger, mobile-savvy consumers will want to buy your product/service or learn more about it from their mobile devices. Remember millennials generate the heaviest usage of mobile devices of any generation and their mobile devices present an opportunity for you to engage with them. Create a shopping experience optimized for smartphones.

Think; an easy and convenient check out system, mobile payment options, mobile coupons or promotions and e-gift cards which can be ordered from the smartphone and delivered instantly to the recipient’s inbox.

Remember 89% of millennials state that they are more interested in buying e-gift cards now than they were 2-3 years ago. (Contact us if you want to start an e-gift card program).  Millennials will want to access your app to browse and research product/service information, will then compare the prices with other retailers and get product reviews, they may bring in a mobile coupon to your physical store and expect to be able to redeem it without the need to print the coupon and then will pay using mobile wallet. As a brand trying to attract millennials who were raised on the Internet and mobile devices you should be prepared to provide a seamless shopping experience across multiple touch-points.

Update Your Marketing

Both the medium and the substance of your marketing efforts need align with tech-savvy millennial behavior and expectations.  This means moving beyond simply advertising on TV or print to embracing social media. For example 33% of millennials rely mostly on blogs before making a purchase, while fewer than 3% use TV news and magazines.

Millennials are overwhelmingly on social media and like being engaged on the various social media platforms they are on. In fact 62% of millennials state that they are more likely to become a loyal customer to brands that engage with them over social media. If you want your brand message to reach millennials this will entail engaging them via offering them promotions, contests and discounts unique to the social media they are accessing.

Beyond this you will have to adjust the content of your advertising and marketing efforts. Only 1% of millennials state that quality advertisement would increase their trust in a brand. Millennials see traditional advertising as inauthentic spin and shun TV commercials and banner advertisements.  In fact millennials are likely to have installed ad blockers on their phones or computers, making typical banner ads or YouTube pre-rolls less effective. Instead you will have to focus on value-added content via content marketing and native advertising to try an appeal to this trend-setting group. For more on content marketing read this blog here.

Foster Their Loyalty

It is a misconception that millennials are not loyal to brands.In fact 60% of millennials stated that they are always or often loyal to the brands they were currently purchasing from. But what builds brand loyalty? It’s key to provide a quality product/service and provide a good customer experience. 

Additionally millennials will stay loyal to brands that they perceive to have values that align with theirs or are altruistic. 37% of millennials stated that they would buy a product/service from a brand which supports a cause they believe in, even if it means paying a bit more.  While 75% of millennials stated that it was very or fairly important that a brand give back to society instead of their only focus being profit. As such you might want to consider values-based marketing which is about marketing to customers based on values. Also note that millennials are also known to support brands that support the local community and would rather buy from them than from their competitors who do not. 

Also remember that for cost-conscious or underemployed millennials an omnichannel loyalty program that offers real rewards and savings is a good start. Even consider incorporating gamification into your loyalty program or promotions to engage millennial and create instant gratification with achievements and status rewards. To find out more about omnichannel loyalty read this blog post here and to find out how to start a variety of loyalty programs contact us.

Use these insights to get your brand on the mind of millennial consumers and get them to shop with you.


Online Shopping Popularity Grows

Consumers are increasingly seeing the benefits of shopping online as opposed to in-person for Black Friday. Rather than wait in line and battle crowds they would rather visit a retailers’ website and get the same deals from the comfort of their home.

For specific days, Thanksgiving Day set online sales records with $1.33 billion spent and Black Friday set new sales records $2.4 billion spent via online shopping. Online sales grew for Cyber Monday as well, by 15% compared to 2013. 

In fact between November 1 and November 28, $32 billion was spent online, 14 % more than in 2013. The top 25 biggest retailers (those who generated $30 million or more) saw online sales increase by 25% on Cyber Monday, while smaller retailers (those generating $2 million or less) saw online sales increase by 5%.

Get your website ready for online shopping, with home delivery and a smooth checkout process so that customers don’t abandon their purchase in favor of a competitor with a website built for online shopping.

Deal-Seekers Go Mobile

In regards to online sales, many shoppers used their mobile devices to make their purchases. In 2014 smartphones doubled their share of total online sales for on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

More specifically mobile devices drove 27% of sales on Black Friday, 3% more than in 2013. The share of this for smartphones grew to 13%, almost doubling compared to 2013’s 7%. The share of this for tablets increased to 16% in 2014 from 14% in 2013. 79% of mobile sales revenue came from iOS users and 21% from Android users. Mobile devices counted for 21.9% of online shopping on Cyber Monday, up 15.9%. On Cyber Monday 78% of mobile shopping occurred through iOS and 21.6% was via Android.

As such expect consumers to want your website to be mobile ready and your check-out process to be optimized for smartphone and tablet. 

A New Shopping Event

You may be well aware of Black Friday and Cyber Monday but you now also should know about Singles’ Day – especially if you do business in Asia. Happening on November 11th it is expected to grow faster than Cyber Monday. In 2014 online sales alone for this day set a new record at $1.29 billion. Singles’ Day originated in Nanjing University in 1993 and has grown in popularity with fashionable youth in Asia via the Internet and can be seen as the opposite of Valentine’s Day.

American brands are now beginning to pay attention to this Asian shopping event with Amazon and PayPal both catering to Asian shoppers with promotions and even special websites. Remember you can reach an estimated 270 million shoppers via Singles’ Day promotions so watch out for this growing shopping event.

Be ready for Cyber Monday and Black Friday gift shoppers with our gift card and e-gift card programs! Contact us!

Topics: Loyalty, Gift Cards