Millennials. Whether you love them, hate them, or are just sick of hearing about them, as 22 to 37(ish) year-olds come into their own in terms of buying and decision-making power they will remain a hot topic of discussion in the retail space. Growing up and starting to build families of their own, there are about 77.5 millennials in the U.S. who control over $1.7 billion in spending power.
But how do you grasp the attention of the selfie generation? You’re already on the right track if you’ve joined BloomNation as over 60% of BloomNation Marketplace customers are aged 25 to 36. However, to proactively reach out to millennials, your business needs appeal to the characteristics that define this generation.
Here are five of the most important traits that describe their purchasing behavior:
Millennials Buy Local:
Around 40% of millennials say they prefer to buy local, even if the mass-market alternatives are more expensive. Play up that aspect of your business by engaging with your neighborhood and other local businesses. Source your cross-sell items from other businesses in the area, co-host a fundraiser with all the stores on your block, or simply offer to put out flyers for a cake shop down the road if they let you put postcards advertising your wedding services on their counter. Not sure how to get started? Make new connections by joining your local chamber of commerce, local Business Alliance, or starting your own Meetup for other business owners in the area.
Millennials Buy Unique and Authentic:
How many times a day do you see the word “artisanal”? Hint: a lot more than you used to. Millennials love things that feel real, authentic, and exclusive. In fact, a big reason customers love BloomNation is because they know they’re finding florists who want to showcase their own unique designs. When creating marketing materials or using social media, highlight the fact that each arrangement is hand-crafted and made to order. Want to be really advanced? Use hashtags on social media (especially Instagram) such as #makersgonnamake, #shopsmall, and #handcrafted to make it easier for like-minded people to find you.
Millennials Buy Karma:
As the success of TOMS, Warby Parker, and BloomNation member Flowers for Dreams show, “Buy One, Get One” is out, “Buy One, Give One (or more)” is definitely in. Your customers want to feel like buying from you is making them a better person, but it’s not about asking people to donate money or add an extra $5 to their purchase today. Are you a part of the Slow Flowers movement, or do you follow sustainable business practices? These are the things millennials care about most, so be sure to make those aspects of your business obvious. If you want to start smaller, host a canned food drive next Thanksgiving or donate your leftover roses to the nearby women’s shelter – just make sure you share the story!
Millennials Buy Experiences:
According to Eventbrite, a stunning 78% of millennials would rather spend money on experiences rather than material things. They also spend more time and money on experiences than ever before and are driving the trend to use experiences as a marketing tool. Meet new customers and help them experience your business by hosting events at your shop, offering classes and design parties, participating in neighborhood festivals, and creating pop-up shops inside other popular businesses (as [ fLo rE sta ] did when BloomNation offered a chance to partner with Kiehl’s).
Millennials Buy Community:
Millennials are community-oriented, which is why they care about things that are local (they like doing things that support their communities), experiential (they like doing things with other people), and good for others (they want people to want them in their communities). This trait also drives their
obsession interest in social media and online communities. What that means in practical terms is that you should be easy to find, share and connect with on the most popular platforms. Claim online listings on sites such as Google+, Yelp, and Facebook and encourage customers to check in and leave reviews. Create an easy-to-remember hashtag and run a contest to encourage customers to add photos of recipients with their flowers and let you know how much they love their purchase or experience.