Around the world, young customers who are millennials and gen Z are powerfully shaping society and business. The e-commerce industry is no exception. Young customers bring a new wave to the industry with some interesting new demands and trends cropping up. A sign of them being our future dominant customer segment in the industry has been showing up. If trends cannot guarantee anything, statistics will.
- 46% of the global population is Millennials and Gen Z in 2021
- $1.4 TRILLION was estimation of millenial’s full spending potential
- 75% of the global workforce is millennials by 2025
- 40% of the number of U.S. consumers are gen Z
- Their spending has the largest proportion in the E-commerce industry.
Both generations were born in a tech-savvy era, making them have higher expectations for technology and innovation. Brands should acknowledge their characteristics and plan out their strategy to attract and retain this potential customer segment. Let’s jump in ways that may help.
Leverage social media to increase young customers engagement
We are sure that you are familiar with social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube where people use for entertainment, socialization, news and even shopping anywhere and anytime. Indeed, 90.4% of Millennials are active social media users, making this largest customer segmentation an ideal demographic to reach via social media, 76% of customers will keep purchasing when they feel connected and engaged with the brands.
Social media sites play necessary roles in reaching new customers and boosting engagement, if not critical. When the giants like Facebook and Instagram have dived into social commerce, businesses have more advantages to expand operations on social media. Through social media, your brand can increase brand awareness, tell the brands’ story, interact and personalize communication with customers.
Strongbow integrated its brand images and the message “Cứ chill thôi” (Let’s chill) into the MV “Bài này chill phết” published on Youtube to increase brand awareness for the target audience, millennials, and encourage them to interact with the brand more in the social media. After the campaign, “Chill” has become a buzzword and catchphrase of most Vietnamese young people, which many brands also use as real-time content. The success of this Strongbow’s marketing strategy has helped Strongbow cider get more attention.
Source: Đen Vâu Youtube Đen ft. MIN – Bài Này Chill Phết (M/V)
The huge numbers and Strongbow’s successful campaign above show that media sites are “Godsends” that businesses should jump into.
An essential need to keep up with the trend:
In fact, young customers’ demand for trendy products is always high. Following the trends arising within their community, however, is another way to attract this powerful young group of customers, and allow brands to show their understanding to the young who are fond of trendy things. Knowing this, Zara, a bonafide pioneer of fast fashion, churns out new trends every few weeks, leading to their surge in sales despite struggles due to Covid-19. This shows the power of following and forecasting trend strategies in the retail industry.
Young customers are undeniably quickly responsive to changes in tastes, preferences, and technology. If your target customer segment is young people, keeping up with the latest trend is a must. It ensures your brand is ahead of the curve in terms of knowing who your target audience is and what they need from your business, so that it can help the brand gain a foothold in the industry.
For instance, “dad shoes” are traditionally ugly, and chunky, but they have become a must-have fashion choice all over the world in the past few years. Unlike other recent successes like Adidas’ Stan Smith or the Nike Free, “dad shoes” aren’t supposed to appeal to the masses as they’re too expensive and too garish. Young customers, however, amazingly show the most overwhelming support for the “dad shoes” movement. The growing popularity of the “dad shoes” movement was recorded as one of the fastest-growing items in the luxury market, showing the power of the young customer segment.
Source: “Dad shoes” from Balenciaga Photographer: Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Power of individualized experience and behind-the-scene content:
In a world of information, not every good content is praised and accepted by the young, but the engagement strategy is always dominant. The era of individualism has strengthened in recent years, making young people more into an increasing quest for experiences that sets them apart from older generations. Acknowledging that, brands are fond of creating a more individualized experience to support their young customers’ unique selves. This attracts new young customers more than ever as they show their engagement as well as empathy to young people.
When it comes to engaging with young customers, relatability is key to success. It can explain why behind-the-scenes content has become more and more popular recently as they show that behind a 2-minute video or a complete photo is a professional team and many incredibly elaborate techniques. It makes your brand more relatable, and transforms your brand from being an “inanimate” object into a real person to your young customers, giving you a chance to connect with your community on a personal level and enhance the engagement level between your brand and young customers.
Source: Youtube Coca Cola Behind the Scenes
Let your customers be your word-of-mouth (WOM):
Remember how many times you have gone to a fashion store or a restaurant just because your friends or someone said “the clothes here are so nice”, “that restaurant has really good pasta”. Recommendations and word-of-mouth from friends or family automatically become a more prestigious source of information and advertising than any other form of advertising. WOM is considered the most trusted advertising type that significantly influences customers’ purchase decisions, especially Millennials. In fact, 92% of respondents trust recommendations from family and friends over any other form of advertising, and 97% of millennials look at reviews before making a purchase.
CEO of Fizz-Ted Wright said that WOM could spread from one customer to 40,370 people in only a year. WOM is a tremendous wave that makes your customers become volunteer marketers, taking advantage of their relationships and reach to approach new customers at nearly no cost. If you are running a business, no matter what type of your business is, you should think of WOM advertising. WOM is a low-cost marketing strategy to increase sales because it creates customers’ trust and positively drives customers’ decisions.
Take Cluse as an example, Cluse hosted a giveaway encouraging its followers to tag their friends in the comment box and ask them also to follow Cluse’s Instagram. This strategy is an effective way to boost WOM outreach by establishing social proof and increasing brand awareness.
Source: Cluse Instagram
Show your awareness of society as well as the environment:
Recently, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) term has become the standard business practice considered an inseparable and core component of business operation. The natural environment, human rights, and social justice are noticeable social issues changing consumer’s purchase behavior. 75% of young customers are receptive towards socially and environmentally responsible brands. So it is important to align your business practices with social issues that matter to your young customers who have leapfrogged immediately to the eco-friendly consumption movement.
There are many great examples of successfully embracing social and environmental responsibility to engage millennials and benefit the bottom line; Innisfree is one of them. Innisfree succeeded in persuading customers to buy more products to support the Innisfree Green Forest Campaign since 2012 by integrating green messages into its products . With a successful program, the expansion of brand awareness widened, helping to attract more customers, contributing to the green lung of Vietnam.
Focus on influencer marketing:
Have you ever bought a product or service because of a recommendation from a YouTuber? As a practice, it is called Influencer Marketing that involves a brand collaborating with influencers to market its products or services. It is a fairly new way of doing advertisements that more and more marketers have recognized as an effective advertising method.
Millennials and Gen Z are no longer interested in traditional advertising. Influencer marketing is a smart way to attract this customer category and increase brand awareness. These younger shoppers spend more time online than any generation, with 45% of Gen Z online almost constantly, and 44% of them have made a purchase decision based on a recommendation from an influencer.
Source: Letsplaymakeup Facebook
However, with the burgeoning influencer marketing trends, many brands collaborate with influencers to spread out brand messages and consumer orientation. Consequently, consumers have suspicions that the authenticity of products has been sidetracked because of commercial benefits. Thus, setting key factors and objectives to choose the right influencer becomes even more important.
To conclude, attracting new young customers is not impossible if you know what exactly your customer target demands to businesses. Engagement, awareness, trust and trend following are required factors to succeed in a chosen path of competing for this customer segment.
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