Twenty-five per cent of millennials spend more than five hours a day on their smartphones, and over 60% shop on their smartphones every day. Known as a budget-conscious and discerning generation of consumers, millennials know how to use technology to their advantage. The typical millennial is reliant on digital services and applications to enhance experiences across almost every aspect of their lives – retail included. From reading online product reviews and rating purchases, to sharing images on social media and communicating with a brand via the same channel; each interaction and engagement must be seamless and relevant.
Here are four tips on how you can adjust your retail marketing strategies to appeal to the mobile loving millennial:
1. Streamline Your M-Commerce Experience
This means it is more important than ever for retailers to not only have online visibility across all channels, but also ensure that all these platforms deliver a consistent, seamless, and user-friendly experience, end-to-end.
When it comes to payments, according to Forrester Research, mobile transactions in Europe are likely to increase three fold over the next five years, from just over $50 billion in 2015 to nearly $150 billion by 2021. Millennials are partly responsible for this dramatic rise, thanks to their appetite for mobile payments. According to Business Insider, nearly half of millennials have used a mobile wallet, so providing fully streamlined systems and processes all the way from the beginning of the customer journey, through to mobile payments, will help prevent them from taking their custom elsewhere.
Payment systems should be fully integrated into a retailer’s website. Often, redirecting payments through external portals can be clumsy and off-putting for customers, resulting in lost sales.
2. Care About Your Reputation
Once upon a time, brand reputation could be managed by providing high-quality customer service via a contact centre or in-store salesperson. But now, brands have to manage their reputations online too, and thanks to the confidence that consumers have in online reviews, a shiny reputation can take multiple positive reviews to build, which only one negative review can destroy. For example, according to Social Media Today, 80% of millennials shopping for hairspray will not finalise their purchase without reading at least ten reviews online, which means retailers must aim for positive customer feedback.
A retailer’s online platform must encourage consumer engagement and, when necessary, allow them to leave feedback.
When a negative review is received online, retailers must act quickly to address the situation by reaching out to the customer to offer support, a replacement product or refund, or discount towards future purchases. Additionally, to boost online reputation, retailers can offer services such as hassle-free returns and the ability to track orders to entice millennials to make their purchases.
ASOS is a good example of an online fashion store that offers hassle-free returns for orders over £100 to encourage its customers – who are largely millennials – to place large orders, but fully expecting that some items will be returned. This marketing model results in a loyal customer-base who often leaves positive reviews on not just the product, but the service they receive.
3. Implementing Chatbots And AI
One of the impracticalities of browsing on a mobile device is the screen size, which means that even when fully zoomed in, consumers can struggle to input data such as credit card numbers or a delivery address. This provides a barrier to finalising the purchase and may result in cart abandonment from millennials unwilling to wait around.
AI and Chatbots, however, offer a solution. By implementing voice technology capabilities into their customer service strategies, retailers can now offer mobile users an easier way to browse, communicate with brands and pay for goods. Being able to conduct a ‘conversation’ via an auditory method – for example answering common retail-related questions or guiding the decision-making process – can ease the shopping process for time-poor, capricious millennials.
Certain tools allow retailers to integrate Chatbots into existing messaging platforms, providing a low-cost method of delivering customer service and boosting consumer engagement. If a retailer is able to harness this technology to replace typing on a small screen, then millennials (and others) will be less likely to abandon their shopping cart.
4. Social Media: Like The likes
Millennials are the rulers of social media, and you will be hard pushed to find a millennial in the UK without at least one of the top four social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. They love to share content, especially pictures and videos, and they are twice as likely to click on content shared by their connections.
Retailers must take advantage of the opportunities offered by social networks, and ensure they maintain a consistent output of shareable and visually-orientated content: Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
By harnessing this ‘free’ word-of-mouth advertising, along with applications such as Facebook’s Dynamic Ads, retailers can boost their online visibility. Be visual, be streamlined, and take full advantage of the opportunities presented by social networks. For example, a video or image of a celebrity promoting a product or a discount code may receive more consumer engagement than a text-only update.
Millennials are redefining buying habits and forcing retailers to constantly adapt their sales strategies to stay ahead of the competition. As the prime shopping method for millennials, digital and mobile must also form the prime focus of retailers’ millennial-targeting business strategy. In the same way that millennials know how to use technology to their advantage, it is now the retailer’s turn to utilise the tools on offer, and make the most of the opportunity afoot.