4 Ways to Bring in More Millennial Shoppers This Holiday Season

Sep 13, 2016 by Jennifer Pollock, Square
4 Ways to Bring in More Millennial Shoppers This Holiday Season
Posted Sep 13, 2016 by Jennifer Pollock, Square

The holidays will be here before you know it. Which means now is the time to lay out your marketing, merchandising, and promotion plans for the busy season. As you’re plotting things out, there’s one demographic you should pay particular attention to  millennials.

That’s because 18- to 34-year-olds now have some serious purchasing power. Ad Age reports that millennials will spend $200 billion annually starting in 2017. But the generation can also be very particular about how they shop. Here are four ways to make your business more appealing to millennial consumers this holiday season.

Provide a consistent shopping experience

Millennials are online constantly. But that doesn’t mean they’re not shopping in brick-and-mortar stores as well. In fact, an Accenture study found millennials actually prefer to shop in stores, where they can touch and feel products before deciding to buy them.

However, they tend to come in with a preset intention — nine out of ten shoppers know what they want to buy even before they set foot in a store. What does that mean for you? You have to provide a streamlined shopping experience across both your online store and your brick-and-mortar shop. Millennial customers expect to see the same merchandise — at the same prices — in both places.

Put mobile first

It’s no secret: millennials are glued to their phones. So it’s crucial that your online store is optimized for mobile. Customers should be able to browse items easily and check out seamlessly from their mobile devices.

But mobile first doesn’t just apply to your online store — it’s also something you should integrate into your brick-and-mortar store by accepting “contactless” payments like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay. Twenty-three percent of millennials use contactless payments like Apple Pay at least once a week.

And at the Coachella music festival this year (an event that attracts millennials by the droves), more than 10 percent of all card transactions on Square’s contactless and chip readers were contactless.

Mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay are not only the most secure form of payment but also the fastest and most convenient. So to appeal to millennial customers (and keep your business up to date),it’s a smart strategy to implement a POS that accepts mobile payments before the holidays hit.

Be very strategic about pricing

Millennials are super-savvy when it comes to product pricing. Forty-one percent of respondents in the Accenture study reported that they “shop around” for the same product at a lower price point at other retailers before deciding to buy something. So to stay competitive, you need to price your products competitively with what consumers can find at other retailers, including Amazon.

If you can’t swing this, think of what other goodies you can throw in to make your pricing structure more attractive, like a discount for in-store pickup, for example. Eighty-eight percent of millennials say they would consider buying online and picking up in the store to save $10 on a $50 item.

Offer a rewards program

Offering a rewards or loyalty program is another way to attract millennial customers. In data released by Bond Brand Loyalty, 68 percent of 20- to 34-year-olds said they would change where they shopped if it meant getting more rewards.

And one-third reported purchasing something they didn’t necessarily want, just to earn rewards. Offering free shipping as part of a loyalty program can be particularly effective with the generation. Of millennials surveyed in a recent report by LoyaltyOne, most said they value free shipping as a benefit of loyalty programs.

About The Author
Jennifer Pollock is the managing editor of Square’s blog and business resource center, Town Square. She writes on topics that help entrepreneurs start, run, and grow their businesses.

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