This month, we explore a demographic that all segments of the flooring industry are trying to figure out: millennials, people born after 1980. Now the largest part of the workforce, this next generation is gaining authority as up-and-coming leaders in our businesses and customers in our stores.
Although millennials are the digital generation, a survey by Forbes magazine shows that this tech-savvy group doesn’t want to completely abandon traditional ways of shopping. The survey said 68% of millennial shoppers want a seamless transition from a retailer’s online shopping experience to the brick-and-mortar store. As the economy improves and millennials grow their careers, bank accounts, and become homeowners, it will be interesting to watch how they spend their money and shop for major purchases.
As a retailer, you must be willing to meet millennials where they are. That means being available digitally to share design ideas and product knowledge. Invest time into researching your niche of the millennial demographic and then develop lead generation techniques that target these tendencies. Where are your millennial customers hanging out online? Speaking with many marketing experts, they all reaffirm that we need to listen a lot and be courageous with our experimentation to reach this group.
Traditional marketing has been shaped around life stages, such as going to college, getting married, having children, buying a home and retiring. This no longer applies since millennials are bucking trends and showing less consistency in entering and exiting various life stages. Millennials are going to college and then moving back in with parents. Some are forgoing marriage and children or doing these things later in life. They often rent for years before buying their own place.
How many of your friends and neighbors have millennial kids who came home from college and moved back to the childhood home indefinitely? My husband and I narrowly escaped this situation ourselves when my 20-something stepdaughter moved next door into a neighbor’s rental apartment. Although we were all grateful not to be under the same roof, we still practically lived together as she checked in daily for advice, to share stories, or to swing by for dinner. It was always interesting to see which social media platforms she and her friends preferred. She researches design ideas for her apartment (and future dream house) on Pinterest, shares ideas on Instagram, and entertains us on Snapchat. You won’t catch her on Facebook unless she’s checking in on her parents and grandparents.
Instead of focusing on life stages, make values your priority. Tap into the things that make millennials tick—social groups, interests and causes. It might be the most digital generation, but millennials appreciate authenticity in their interactions.
Is your store having success connecting with this savvy generation? Our coverage of millennials isn’t a one-time thing. Let us know what’s working for you by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.