How To Attract Millennials To Your Retail Business

Attracting any specific cohort to a retail establishment can be a strenuous undertaking, there’s a lot to consider in terms of preferences and what’s on trend. However, with digital advancements and social media’s growing presence, attracting one of the biggest cohorts Millennials to your retail establishment might be easier than you think.

They’re one of the biggest demographic’s to earn customer loyalty and increase revenue. In fact, according to PEW Research, Millennials in 2016 numbered at 71 million and are expected to overtake Boomers at 73 million by 2019. In addition, Accenture predicts that by 2020 Millennials will account for nearly $1.4 trillion in spending power. That’s a substantial amount of potential revenue.

With such a large market potential, they’re a cohort worth considering in your retail business plan. In order to help you attract this cohort, we’re sharing some of the best practices your business can use to generate stronger loyalty and increase revenue by engaging Millennials.

Be Available on Mobile

According to Neilsen 98 percent of the millennial generation own’s a smartphone, in addition, they spend more than half of their Internet browsing time on mobile devices. Further, according to PriceEconomics, they check their phones 150 times per day. To say mobile is an important aspect of winning over Millennial shoppers would be an understatement. Not to mention, with the latest advancements in mobile the possibilities to improve your own operations are endless.

From using mobile to sell your product, communicate with customers, or simply process a transaction, it’s a tactic that can set you apart from the plethora of competitors.

One of the most important aspects of being available on mobile is making sure your website is responsive or that you have an easily accessible app. Millennials specifically spend a lot of their “online” time on their mobile devices, which means your website should be easy to navigate, quick to load, and hassle-free when making a purchase. In addition, it should follow the same look and feel of your brand.

A great example of a superb mobile responsive design is B2B Software company, Shopify. Their website is easy to toggle through but also stays true to the traditional look and feel that appears on their desktop page. Furthermore, they took into consideration Millennial attention span by keeping their page load speed below five seconds. This is important considering only 38% of consumers are willing to wait longer than 5 seconds for an e-commerce page to load.

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Another important aspect of incorporating mobile is messaging with customers. In a Chief Marketer study it was shown that Millenials thrive off of texting, in fact they prefer texting over email, and phone to communicate with businesses.  By incorporating a mobile messaging platform, customers can make requests, ask questions or send comments directly to your retail business from their mobile device – all while being measured for satisfaction. If a customer is upset about one of your retail establishments, a messaging platform enables them to speak to you in real-time straight from their mobile device so issues can be resolved immediately and your retail store can stay on top of delivering excellent service.

Lastly, being available on mobile isn’t just a tactic for the Millennial customer but also for your team members to make operations much more streamlined. With the incorporation of mobile devices in-store, your team can leverage its capabilities to check inventory levels, process multiple transactions on the sales floor, message customers with ease, and so much more.

With such an array of benefits for both the customer and your internal team, incorporating mobile is a tactic worth considering to increase Millennial presence.

Effortless Purchasing

Millennials today expect convenience. With the rise of Amazon and it’s one-day shipping capabilities, Millennials have grown accustomed to having products available to them at the click of a button. This means, making them wait or making check out processes complicated can be a detriment to your business. In fact, according to a survey conducted by youth marketing and research firm Ypulse, Millennials’ expectations of instant gratification are intensifying, with 75% of 18 to 32-year-olds agreeing with the following statement: “I get frustrated with things that waste my time.

Offering quick and effortless check out options are essential to leave the Millennial customer with a positive impression. According to research by the Baymard Institute, the average checkout flow has 5.08 steps, that means anything above 5 steps is too daunting for the  Millennial customer. Whether in-store or online, Millennials should have the ability to add things to their cart, communicate to associates if needed and checkout with the payment method of their choice.

For an effortless check-out process in-store, try incorporating technology such as a mobile or tablet POS system. This allows the customer to purchase their product at any area of the retail store with their desired tender (smartphone payments should also be considered). In addition, purchasing can be made even more effortless with the ability to email their receipt. This allows Millennials to leave the premises right after they’ve paid, saving them time. Emailed receipts also give you an opportunity to add links, offers, and surveys to the message being sent. This allows you to continue the conversation, give them a reason to return, or provide feedback on their purchase or experience.

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It is also vital to make sure your online check out portal is created with the same simplicity in mind. Your website should allow the customer to login or check out as guest, in addition to having options such as “Save Payment Method”, “Request Assistance”, or “Save Shipping Information”.

Offer Unique And On Trend Experiences

Millennials are all about unique experiences. They want brag-worthy moments that stand out and that they can talk about with their friends or share on social.

Today, having an immersive retail experience is imperative to gain Millennial loyalty. However, before you begin re-conceptualizing your store or product, it’s important to do your share of research and get down to the nitty-gritty of what Millennials really want in a retail space.

For most Millennials, they want something that is aesthetically pleasing – a space that they can take pictures of or in and share with other people. After all, in today’s social obsessed world it’s all about sharing experiences. In addition, Millennials want a retail space that is contrived of elements that stray away from the ordinary. They want that unique experience that no one else has had and that makes them feel like they are getting value from just being in your space.  

Benefit Cosmetics is a great example of a retailer creating a unique experience. Just last year they released pink vending machines around major airports in the U.S that held a variety of their products. Because no other cosmetic brand had done this before, the experience went viral as customers from all over were seen Snapchatting and Instagramming themselves using the device to obtain their products. In many cases, the customer didn’t need or want anything but still bought product, took photos, tagged the brand and even incorporated hashtags. A great way to earn top dollar and market your brand.

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In addition, Nike has also mastered providing a unique and fully immersive retail experience. Earlier this year, Nike announced the opening of a 5 story SoHo store set to be unveiled in November. This experience was created with the client – and active Millennial – in mind, showcasing basketball courts to test product, treadmills at running stations, and even small soccer fields. Aimed at providing a more personalized and one of a kind experience, Nike is “offering the best of products, services and experiences under one roof”.

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Unlike their older generations, Millennials crave the unique experiences with products that are just as unique. By incorporating immersive retail experiences you’re well on your way to gaining the loyalty of Millennials.

Be Authentic and Personable

Lastly, one of the biggest qualities of a Millennial is their desire to forge strong and authentic relationships with people and brands that offer them value. For a Millennial, it isn’t only about the quality of the product, it’s about the brand recognizing them and treating them as a person rather than “just a number”. In fact, according to a Stackla 2017 Consumer Content Report, “an overwhelming 90% of Millennials say brand authenticity is important”.

In order to forge a powerful and authentic relationship with a Millennial, you need to approach them as both a companion and adviser by listening to them and understanding them. This means, asking them questions about themselves and building genuine conversations off of what you learn. When you build a relationship with a Millennial you increase their likelihood to return; As cited by a Forbes article, 60% of Millennials said that they are often or always loyal to brands that they currently purchase from, and the sooner you build a relationship and deep connection with millennials, the more they will continue to purchase from you.

By building that authentic and personable experience, you build a community of loyal and engaged shoppers who will continue to choose your product over any other.


Having the purchasing power of Millennials in any business environment is a huge competitive advantage. They’re a huge cohort with a ton of purchasing power. By incorporating mobile, being authentic. and staying on trend you are inches closer to gaining their loyalty and boosting your bottom line.


Looking to improve your customer’s experience? Download our latest white paper: The New Voice of the Customer. 

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