The rapid progression of the internet has shaken up the way the world does business, and the generation that grew up during these changes has adapted much faster than expected. So fast, in fact, that many brands are struggling to keep up. Brands that have been set in their ways for several decades are being forced to reconsider their approach in the face of a customer base that is constantly connected.
Luckily for them, millennial consumers are open-minded and eager early-adopters. Innovative approaches and a commitment to creating myriad touch points online generally resonates well with a millennial cohort hungry for fresh ideas. Brands that are able to bring new experiences to millennial customers online while refining their bread-and-butter product offerings to meet high standards will see much greater success than those that attempt to stay the course.
Engagement as Key
Along with the maturation of the millennial cohort has come a significant cultural shift. Unparalleled access to information and rich media gives them an unprecedented amount of power to make purchasing decisions. Along with this new approach comes a new brand value system that retailers are learning to adapt to.
The most successful brands have been able to communicate unique value through their product offerings and a crafted customer journey. Google reports that millennial consumers will consult an average of 10.4 sources of information before making a single purchase decision. Brands like Chaco help facilitate this process by both providing content that communicates clear and compelling value and also presenting unique selling points for consumers to repeat in online reviews.
In general, brands are having to provide more information about their products than ever before. Details like a product’s origin to its manufacturing process along with end-user information like inventory levels and customer reviews helps connected customers make informed decisions on purchasing from anywhere in the world.
Another important aspect to recognize about the millennial consumer is that although they prefer browsing, researching and even making purchases online, the physical retail site is still important to their ultimate customer journey. Click-and-collect models allow customers to have items purchased online shipped free to stores where they can conveniently pick it up after they are notified upon its arrival. Another similar option is ship-from-store, which can significantly reduce wait times for products purchased online.
Features like these tie together the advantages of both online and physical shopping in a way that appeals to millennials’ sense of control over their purchasing experience.
Another trend in the way businesses meet the needs of the millennial customer is that they are finding ways to engage with millennials in the social spheres they frequent. Creating multiple touchpoints allows for brands to foster affinity and an emotional connection to the products they offer.
A customer journey can start from them sharing an interesting post on Twitter from a brand to later seeing a targeted display ad from the same brand and researching a related product. Developing a seamless experience from exposure to brand values to specific information about a product has helped capture the attention and drive conversion of customers that are typically easy to become distracted. Having personalization based on rich data sources like social media engagement and geo-targeting has also helped brands like Starbucks connect the online experience with the physical act of going and purchasing a coffee.
When it comes to millennial customers who have a tendency to look past a brand’s value propositions, online coupons have been able to redirect their attention. An offer with true value can grab the interest of the millennial consumer and drive their curiosity to other online sources of information about your products.
Successful offer promotions can even lead to brand evangelism in the form of social media shares and glowing reviews — free advertising for brands. Learn more about how crucial digital coupons can be and how to manage all of your promotions through a comprehensive offer platform by visiting our website.