Millennials (those born anywhere between 1977 to 1995) are now the largest portion of the US population, coming in at 29%. When it comes to shopping, millennials are a teach-savvy bunch. Because of this, they won’t buy just any product or even commit to just a single brand. They’ll do a lot of extensive research to get the best product possible in their hands; and they’ll do this research almost exclusively online.
According to Accenture, millennials spend about $600 billion each year and are projected to spend $1.4 trillion annually while representing 30% of retail sales in 2020. Between 2012 and 2014, furniture purchases made by consumers over 70 years of age dropped from $17.7 billion to $3 billion. Millennials filled that gap from $11.1 billion to $27 billion—an increase of 142 percent. Due to this buying power, businesses will need to adjust their home furnishings marketing plans for millennial preferences because soon, they’ll become the main focus.
False Facts about Millennials
Contrary to popular belief, 50% of millennials make purchases in-store. The only difference is that they spend a good majority of time researching online beforehand. Only after that do they go in-store to see the product and try it out themselves before purchasing. As marketers, we understand that purchase behavior has changed and early buying research is almost always done online. Furthermore, Accenture found that 68% of millennials demand a seamless online to in-store experience. Mobile experiences combined with an in-store environment influence whether millennials will shop and make the purchase. In fact, 47% of millennial shoppers shop online only to then go buy in store. They’ll take the extra time to read reviews, ask others, and understand everything about a product. And thanks to technology like smartphones, millennials have that convenience.
Five Tips for Marketing to Millennials
Take advantage of the smartphone
Did you know that 85% of adults under the age of 30 use smartphones? In other words, there’s a huge (unavoidable!) opportunity to win over millennials through mobile devices. Start by representing your brand well online to gain the trust of millennials. Your website (and online ads and content) must be mobile-friendly. Also keep in mind that 96% of millennials use their smartphones in-store to compare prices and other products before purchase.
Social Media & Collaboration
This is how millennials will hear about your business, read about your business, and see how good you are as a business. When’s the last time you went to a restaurant before looking up reviews or images about it? Millennials will do the same before deciding to partake in your service or business. Before they purchase a rug or couch, they’re going to look at reviews and ask questions to make sure that their purchase is the best purchase they can make. Your social media presence will determine if they want to approach you for a product and if they’re willing to invest in you. Businesses best business strategy is to engage. Take advantage of social media and build relationships with clients. If customers have an issue and post on your Facebook page, respond and ask what can be done. Once they take notice of you collaborating and improving your business cause of the customer, they are more willing to stick around for you.
Millennials spend about 25 hours a week online and want new, engaging content. They share, like, and comment to leave a pin to share with their online community. They are easily inspired by influencers so turn your market tactic into one. Share your products with potential influencers to engage with customers for you. 84% of Millennials say that user-generated content has some influence on what they buy. 73% say they want to read others’ opinions before purchase; this goes back to social media being used to review a business.
Millennials don’t want just listings or detail pages; they want to learn and invest in a business. E-books, blogs, videos, and other how-to’s are part of inbound marketing. Customers appreciate and value expertise in a market and millennials will put their trust in an expert. When a company takes the time to provide help and guidance, millennials are more willing to engage.
Make your business fun
The purchase behavior of millennials has changed. Before purchase, they are doing all kinds of research to understand the ins and outs. This is fun for them. This adds value to their shopping experience, so why not market and make it even more fun for them? E-commerce is a form of entertainment. Pinterest, for example, has made the shopping journey a way of personal expression. Pinterest allows millennials to customize and pin products of interest that they can look at to purchase later. Use this tool! Customers want an enjoyable online browsing experience and handing them off to a list of products that has enticing imagery and content will only improve your products’ value.
By understanding the behavioral tendencies of millennials you can begin to market home furnishings accordingly and effectively. Develop your business strategy with a strong presence online and build that gap between you and millennials.