How to Engage the Millennial Shopper

The “millennial” word itself fills up the heart with a “futuristic” time – more digital, more fancy and more tech savvy. So, who is a Millennial? Millennials are the people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s and currently, this generation is known as the powerful purchasing population, alongside Gen Z.

In the U.S. itself, this generation controls $600 billion in annual spending and it is expected to multiply in the coming time. They undoubtedly are the enormous commercial force but capturing this audience requires an engaging marketing and personalized experience.

Millennial Buyers Behave Differently

First and foremost, it’s important to know the difference between millennial buyers and others. There’s a fundamental behavioral and preferential difference between Millennial Buyers and Baby Boomers/Gen X and others. Their whole approach to understanding, processing and responding to media and advertising is so different that it has left many brands wondering and figuring the best way to attract this massive consumer powerhouse.

They like to do a thorough research before buying any product; reviews, comparisons and social validation play important roles in convincing them. They rely on their friends’ opinions and real experiences rather than blindly following an advertisement.

The following infographic by CEB ‘Iconoculture Consumer Insights’ provides a glimpse of the millennial mindset:

CEB-Insights-Infographic---Augment

Millennial buyers are anxious and always looking for something new and exciting. So, ho wcan one really make them swoon and stick to a brand? Let’s dive little deeper and get a real taste.

There is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy

According to Christopher Brace, CEO at Syntegrate Consulting in New York, “Shoppers’ most valuable asset isn’t their dollars, it’s their attention. Every move should be vetted against its ability to capture the shopper’s attention. If it can’t, then its relevancy significantly lessens.

Millennials have a very short span of attention, that’s why it’s important to engage them and provide the best end-to-end customer experience that lasts forever. Better engaging experiences help in with brand recall, when so many products are cramming the market, it’s important to standout and make the buyers choose you. How? Let’s talk about a few things that make this audience tick and how augmented reality resonates.

Millennials appreciate transparency, especially when being sold too. They are attracted to honest and authentic brands; carefully convey your underlying mission and beliefs. Be yourself and avoid fake portrayal of your beliefs.

It’s not uncommon for sales pitches to be carried out through content. Content is king and it’s what precedes the sale of most products today, primarily with eCommerce. Ads are passé! Create shareable and meaningful content is the future of product marketing. Videos and GIFs have been dominant because they are attention-grabbing.

Creating experiences is the most important element in engaging Millennials and generations hereafter.  They want to know the brand they’re buying from and feel that the brand knows them. User experience is everything and augmented reality is the next tool to create engaging marketing experiences.

Millennial Buyers and Augmented Reality

Virtual experiences are thriving amongst the Millennial audience and it’s clear that the future is going to be filled with exciting technology used to craft online experiences, especially in retail. These campaigns influence the buying decision, on top of building brand awareness and conversation.

Augmented Reality has greatly increased buyer engagement, keeping mobile shoppers around longer and converting at a higher rate. Engaging buyers and stimulating their senses through virtual experiences in your real environment, in real-time. This technology is fun but it’s also valuable in excitingly informative, pegging your brand as innovative as well as consumer focused.

Snapchat has garnered RFPs north of $750,000 for augmented reality “lenses” which are an original form of advertisements. Pokémon Go has built a loyal user base using augmented reality to allow players to catch Pokémon in real locations, and the interactivity has been addictive.

This interactivity will thrive in retail. Millennial shoppers already anticipate a personalized experience to some extent ﹣whether it’s similar product recommendations or one-click shopping through Amazon’s Dash button ﹣engaging experiences are a requirement in today’s day and age of retail, both online and in-store.

Augmented reality is proving to provide benefits for retailers while directly addressing the pain points of shoppers. Without even leaving their houses, the buyers can virtually try and experience the products they’re looking to buy. AR is a tool that will make the buyer’s journey much more captivating, consumers won’t hesitate because of uncertainty. AR has been instrumental in creating a great interactive environment between buyers and sellers and establishing an emotional connection between product demand and consumers’ desires.

Dennis Williams is the Content Marketing Manager for Augment

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