Dr. Colleen Batchelder

3 Things Every Business Should Do To Succeed With Millennial Customers

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Millennial customers have a strong influence on the future of commerce, and their consumer habits will continue to expand their influence in the years to come.

Not only are millennial consumers the largest generation of consumers in today’s marketplace, but they’re also gaining purchasing power at an alarming rate.

As millennial consumer conduct continues to expand its influence, so will millennial customer expectations and demands. Consumer habits continue to increase influence on businesses and brand strategies and marketers who want to succeed with millennial customers need to understand their needs and wants. Purchase behaviors are different from previous generations.

The millennial generation is taking over the business world and rapidly acquiring spending power and influence. To succeed with millennial customers, business leaders need to do three things to succeed with millennial customers.

Related: Looking to mentor Millennials? Here are some tips

1. Millennials Are Less Materialistic Than Their Predecessors.

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Remember your first car? Your parents probably did too, but that’s not the point here. The fact is, we have a fondness for owning things that makes sense only to us. We identify with the objects around us and crave items that represent who we want to become. The same is true for millennials. However, they don’t crave material objects as much as ethical treatment.

Millennials have a massive desire for authenticity.

They want brands that they can relate to and represent who they are––not necessarily what their parents were at the same age. This doesn’t mean millennial consumers don’t like buying things; it just means they’re more minimalistic than previous generations.

Related: 5 Simple Ways Companies Can Create Safe Spaces

2. Technology Is The Millennial’s Best Friend.

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Millennials love devices––especially if they can access the web from a pocket-sized computer. They are more likely to use technology like mobile apps, interactive websites, chatbots, and video tours than previous generations.

When you implement technology into your product, you help push millennials to buy your product in an instant over your competition. So, start by thinking about your millennial customer’s tech preferences. What Apps do they value? What software do they avoid?

When you take some time to answer these questions, figure out how to create an online experience that is optimized for mobile devices and is attractive to your millennial customer.

Related: Generation Z Doesn’t Trust Your Business. Here are Four Reasons Why

3. Millennials Are Told To Trust Their Own Instincts.

delighted black female barista serving coffee in cup in cafe

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As a millennial consumer, you’ve been raised to ask questions: How does this affect me? Can I trust you? What makes you better than the other guy? In millennial terms, this translates to, “What’s in it for me?”

Honestly, there are no shortcuts here. If millennials feel like they’re being talked down to or tricked into a sale, then they’ll never buy your product. Be transparent and focus on millennial’s wants and needs. If you can do this––and a few other millennial marketing strategies listed here––trust me, millennial consumers will be running to your door to buy from you instead of the other guys.

Why Should I Care?

Millennial customers have a strong influence on the direction commerce is headed in. Not only are millennial consumers the largest generation of consumers in today’s marketplace, but they’re also gaining purchasing power at an alarming rate. As millennial consumer conduct continues to expand its influence, so will millennial customer expectations and demands.

1) millennial customers are future business leaders

2) millennial customers show loyalty to brands they trust

3) millennial customers outweigh older generations in buying power.

Related: Do You Want to Meet Your Goals This Year? Follow These 4 Tips

How Can My Business Attract Millennial Customers?

ethnic young woman using laptop while having tasty beverage in modern street cafe

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Millennials account for the largest generation of consumers in the US today. This means millennial consumer habits have an ever-increasing impact on businesses and brand strategies. Marketers that want to succeed with millennial customers need to understand how their needs, wants, and purchase behaviors are different from previous generations.

1) Avoid the hard sell – millennial customers want authenticity, and they know when a business is just trying to make a sale. Millennial customers are also socially connected. They look for social proof before making purchases. Think of Facebook ‘likes’ or social shares as millennial customer testimonials.

These millennial customers don’t need convincing; they want to hear what their friends, family, and colleagues say about products and services.

2) Speak millennial customers’ language – millennial customers love value, so brands need to meet them where they are. Their favorite forms of communication may not be email or snail mail but social media platforms like Twitter.

Social media is also millennial heavy, so millennial customers are active on social media and rely on it to make purchases. Businesses should speak millennial customers’ language by providing information through the same channels millennial customers use.

3) Play to millennial customer strengths – millennial customers still appreciate good customer service, but they also expect brands to provide them with information quickly and efficiently. This is why millennial customers are more likely to buy goods online than older generations.

Is There Hope For My Business?

Brands need to play to millennial customer strengths by making information easily accessible through mobile connections and social media channels millennial customers use frequently.

After following these three steps, businesses should do what millennial customers want: listen. Millennial customers will reward brands that pay attention to their needs.

It’s not enough to be customer-friendly or offer millennial-specific products and services. Instead, businesses should learn what millennial customers want (and don’t want). Luckily, millennial customers love to share their opinions and give feedback. All you have to do is ask.

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As a Leadership Strategist, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Executive Coach, and National Speaker, I help leaders create companies where Millennials and Generation Z want to work. My doctoral background in leadership and global perspectives also gives me an added edge because I approach generational dissonance from all directions, including from an anthropological, theological, sociological, and ethnographic lens.
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