Millennials. They’ve been called everything from entitled and lazy to fearless and empowered. But whatever you think about this generation, one thing is clear: Millennials (aka Gen Y) continue to have a significant impact on the economy and society in general.
According to Nielsen, Millennials spend more than $65 billion per year and influence “upward of $1 trillion in total consumer spending.” That’s a lot of spending power, which is why if you’re in the retail industry, it’s always worth having a conversation about Gen Y.
And that’s exactly what we did. We caught up with Jasmine Glasheen, a writer, marketer, burgeoning generational voice at Retail Minded. Jasmine is also a contributing editor at RetailWire and a regular contributor to various publications in the retail, business, and technology sectors including: Retail Minded, NectarOm, Fiverr and RetailWire.
As a millennial herself, Jasmine has a deep perception of this generation’s shopping preferences, and she shares some actionable advice on engaging and selling to Gen Y. Check it out:
1. What are some key things that retailers should know about Millennials? In terms of shopping behavior, how is this generation different from others?
It’s important for retailers to realize that Millennials are not a strange alien breed. Sure, we shop on our smartphones a lot and have a strong affinity for locally-sourced goods, but we also value an engaging in-person shopping experience and being greeted by a well-trained and enthusiastic retail staff.
2. What are your top 3 recommended action steps for retailers who want to reach Millennials?
First is to tie-in to your local community. Millennials want to feel like their dollar has an impact for the greater good, so source from local makers/growers whenever possible and advertise your collaboration well.
Secondly, your website absolutely needs to be iPhone compatible.
And third, remember that price points are still important. Millennials aren’t inherently millionaires. The brands that win with this generation will be those that learn how to sell sustainable/local goods at affordable price points.
3. Can you name examples of retailers that are doing a great job at engaging millennials? What about those who aren’t doing a good job?
Moosejaw comes up right away when we start talking about brands who are marketing to Millennials in a language that we understand. The brand is witty to the point of irreverence and Millennials will always rally behind a voice that is slightly sardonic. Hopefully, the company will retain their unique voice despite the Walmart buy out.
Brands that aren’t doing a good job? Look at any of the myriad closing big box retailers that aren’t getting specific with woe inventory or honing in on local markets. They represent “the man” to this generation.
What’s your experience with millennials? Let us know in the comments.
About Francesca Nicasio
Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.