Learn how to keep your millennial customers coming back to your Shopify store.
The eCommerce market caters to at least four generations of consumers, if not more.
- Gen Z (18 to 24)
- Millennials (25 to 35)
- Gen X (35 to 54)
- Baby boomers (55+)
And each of these groups has different shopping preferences.
Typically, Gen Z and millennials are more hooked to finding products on social media, via internet searches and apps; while Gen X and baby boomers go for a mix of in-store, internet search, and TV ads.
Now, to retain the attention of each generation, you’ll have to tailor your strategies differently. Besides that, to ensure they stay loyal to your brand, you need different approaches for each generational segment.
In this blog, we focus on how you can generate brand loyalty with millennials.
Who are the millennials?
Also known as Generation Y or Gen Y, millennials are people in the age group of 25 to 35, those born between 1977 and 2000.
Millennials are the generation born in the age of digital innovations—computers, the internet, smartphones, eCommerce, social media, apps, and more.
These digital innovations have influenced their buying behavior to a large extent.
What does millennial buying behavior look like?
To understand millennial buying behavior, let’s begin with some statistics:
- 86% of millennials are digital buyers
- 67% of millennials prefer to shop online to in-store
- 52% of millennials prefer brands that align with their values
- 29% of millennials purchase from brands they see on social media
- 70% of millennials say they purchase from brands they feel loyal towards.
Millennials are among the generations most comfortable with online shopping. However, does this mean they’re the most loyal to brands? No, it doesn’t.
Studies have found it’s hard to earn millennials’ brand loyalty. For example, a 2018 Millennial Loyalty Survey by Codebroker found that 70% of millennials engage with less than half the loyalty programs they sign up for.
And that is why, to increase customer loyalty of your millennial customers, you’ll need to bring in strategies within your marketing plan.
Strategies to win customer millennial loyalty
1. Offer subscription options
80% of millennials prefer subscriptions—it makes their lives easier. They have more subscriptions than any other generation.
Owing to the basic nature of subscriptions – a long-term association – this business model is an effective strategy to boost customer loyalty among millennials.
And so, if you haven’t set up subscriptions on your Shopify store yet, you’re missing out big time.
However, there are different types of subscriptions. So, which are the ones that will appeal to this segment?
Millennials look for personalized experiences, relevancy, customization, and convenience. And so choose the right types of subscription models, such as, build a box, curated box, pay as you go, among others.
2. Offer membership options
Millennials value brands that provide good experiences, exclusivity, and a community feel, among other factors. And one of the best ways to enable these experiences is via memberships.
The premise of eCommerce memberships is simple—customers become members to access exclusive services, offers, discounts, and perks.
For example, members-only savings, gift vouchers, special member discounts, and priority access to new collections, are perks that enhance customer experience. The result – they tend to stick around longer and be loyal.
The key, however, is to identify the right perks for your millennial customer segment and provide “enough value”.
In addition, once you set up and run your membership program, ensure you continually reevaluate the value of your perks. This practice will ensure your customers stay loyal.
3. Enable millennials to support causes via your brand
More than other generations, millennials are passionate about supporting causes. They are generally more conscious about socio-political and environmental issues and want to bring change.
For brands, this is an effective way to hook customers to boost millennial brand loyalty. Here’s what you can do:
- Proudly share the causes that your brand feels for and supports
- If you have a loyalty, subscription, or membership program, make supporting the cause one of the benefits of the programs. For example, the loyalty points earned via your program could be donated to non-profit organizations of your customers’ choice
- Support different causes so customers can choose what they’d like to support—this way you can hook more customers
- Create a community of like-minded customers and foster interactions and connections among them
Bath and beauty brand, GreenEcoDream, gives back a portion of every purchase. The brand collaborates with the 1% for the Planet Program and Clean Miami Beach Program to support environmental causes.
4. Fulfill millennials’ need for convenience
Online shopping has many advantages for consumers—it reduces the time required to go to physical stores, more options, easy to search for products, etc.
This makes convenience a key factor in millennials’ online shopping experience. But it’s easier said than done.
For a convenient shopping experience on your Shopify store, you’ll have to factor in the following:
- Easy navigation
- Fast loading time
- Easy sign in
- Provide subscriptions for recurring purchases
- Set up personalized and customized subscriptions
- Fast deliveries
5. Display social proof
When you buy an expensive product such as electronics, you probably ask your friends and family who’ve bought the same brand for their reviews. You also tend to look at online video reviews.
That’s because we humans feel confident and trust the products we see others have bought and used. And that is where social proof comes in, to boost trust and loyalty.
Not convinced? Consider these numbers:
- 91% of millennials trust reviews as well as recommendations from friends and family
- Customers read at least 10 reviews before making purchases
- 84% of millennials say user-generated content influences their buying decision
Social proof is an essential part of building customer loyalty in eCommerce. And here’s how you can include social proof in your marketing game:
- Show video reviews of your products from the millennial customer segment—this way, the millennial customers will see others from their generation using the same products
- Show social proof along with the age group of customers. For example, X number of customers in the age group of 25 to 35 bought this product
An example of Amazon’s social proof:
6. Boost millennials’ brand loyalty through authenticity
Your target customers are spoilt for choice. They have hundreds of options to choose from. And so many options of brands and products trigger one thing—doubt.
It’s difficult for consumers to know which brand to trust.
In addition, good deals and heavy discounts alleviate their doubts – “Is the product on discount because it’s not too good?”
Here’s how you can build an authentic brand:
- Tell your brand story. Let customers know your brand values, principles, and all that shows your authenticity
- Allow your customers to share reviews and feedback. The more user-generated content you share, the more it will help display your authenticity
- Get involved in causes supported by your millennial customer segment
7. Bring in customization and personalization
Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, said two decades ago, “If we want to have 20 million customers, then we want to have 20 million stores.”
In other words, eCommerce brands need to leverage their personalization and customization capabilities to cater to each customer’s preferences and needs.
But how do these strategies influence customer loyalty in eCommerce? Here’s how:
- Improves customers’ buying experience throughout their journey
- It builds trust as it tells customers you have their best interest in mind
- Customers see your commitment
- Customers reciprocate your customization and personalization efforts
- Customize products and services to meet customer preferences
- Offer customized subscriptions and membership plans
- Personalize marketing communication
- Involve customers in new product introduction
8. Run loyalty programs
Loyalty programs are created with one purpose—to turn one-time shoppers into loyal customers.
With an increasing number of millennials shifting to online shopping from in-store, and the rise of using smartphones for shopping, running successful loyalty programs is easier now than before.
Millennials love these features of eCommerce stores, with 66.3% saying they’re more likely to shop from brands with a loyalty program.
But the hard truth is every brand runs a loyalty program, offering the same rewards. So keeping millennials engaged in loyalty programs is tougher than you’d imagine it to be.
So here’s how you can increase millennials’ brand loyalty through your program:
- Offer unique rewards to outdo your competitors’ loyalty programs
- Introduce new rewards from time to time to keep customers engaged
- Combine social media campaigns with loyalty programs, as millennials are heavily into social media
- Create a community of loyal customers—millennials love to be part of communities
- Make your loyalty program mobile friendly. For example, have an app for the program
9. Set up a referral program
An excellent way to boost brand loyalty with millennials is a referral program. Why? Because 91% of millennials consider buying products recommended to them by friends.
Studies show that people referred by your existing customers are more likely to make purchases from your brand. That happens because we trust a brand/product more when we see someone else using them.
And here are some factors to consider for a referral program aimed at millennials:
- Make your referral program mobile-friendly. Better still, make it a part of your mobile app—millennials are hooked to their mobile devices
- Prioritize visual content for marketing your referral programs
- Personalize aspects of the referral program. For example, offer a one-month free subscription to the referee customer in return for a successful referral
10. Provide flexibility and accessibility
A study by Goldman Sachs reveals millennials are attracted to flexibility. They are less likely to spend money on concrete purchases.
For example, they prefer buying a music subscription to one artist’s new album.
Whether it’s cars, luxury goods, or fitness, millennials don’t like to stick to one product. They prefer to try out new products via shared economy models.
For eCommerce businesses, one of the best ways to offer flexibility and accessibility is by way of subscriptions and memberships.
Here’s what you can do:
- Offer different types of subscription plans for products and services
- Allow customers the flexibility to change their plans
- Give them multiple options of products, services, and plans to choose from
- Highlight flexibility and accessibility factors when promoting your products or brand
What are you doing to boost your brand loyalty with millennials?
Millennials are different from the previous generations. Some aspects that draw them in are personalization, accessibility, freedom, experience, and convenience.
Make these factors a key part of your strategies to attract millennials. To keep up with their preferences, you’ll need to tap into digital apps, automation, and tech.
That’s where Appstle subscription and membership apps come in!
Appstle Subscriptions and Loyalty and Appstle Membership and Loyalty apps are designed to help you implement most of these aspects.