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Who Are Millennials? 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “Millennials, or America’s youth born between 1982 and 2000, now number at 83.1 million and represent more than one-quarter of the nation’s population.” Today, the millennial generation, whether in the United States or elsewhere are all well and truly certified adults – with the youngest ones being 18 years old. As such, this demographic will soon make up the largest consumer base as a result of growing spending power due to their improved financial positions and advanced career progression which come with age. Therefore, for sellers, this should be the most important target group as they will likely determine the success or failure of your business based on how well you connect with them.

Millennials by the numbers

The US millennial generation alone accounts for $600 billion of annual spending. By 2020, it is estimated that the worldwide spending by millennials will account for a whopping $1.4 trillion annually, with the US making up 30% of this figure. Furthermore, millennials are expected to comprise the majority of the US workforce by 2025.

Photo by SaleHoo

Based on BigCommerce, 67% of millennials and 56% of Generation X’s (those born between 1961-1981) prefer to shop online than in a store. Moreover, both these groups spend on average six hours per week shopping online compared to their older counterparts who spend 4 hours per week shopping online. In total, this accounts for about 50% of their total time spent shopping online.

Therefore, in order to successfully market your product to the modern buyer, it is vital to understand the habits of millennials, their decision-making process, as well as what drives them to make a purchase. We should mention that there’s no magic bullet for capturing and marketing to the millennial consumer, however, understanding the underlying trends and attitudes can help you build your strategies fittingly.

 

Characteristics of Millennial Shoppers

eBay mobile
By looking at the fundamental characteristics of millennials, we find the following:

  • They are social animals

  • They do half of their shopping online

  • As children of the economic crisis, they are much more cautious about spending money as opposed to their baby boomer predecessors.

  • They are more likely to believe strangers than family and friends when it comes to product reviews.

  • Millennials are the largest segment of the population with disposable income in the US, which is why they are the natural choice when developing an e-commerce marketing strategy for any product — not just clothes and apparel.

Focus on Mobile

Millennials are truly the mobile generation, especially since an overwhelming 87% have their phones by their side every second of the day.

For businesses, this means that mobile optimization is no longer an afterthought – it needs to be at the forefront of every single marketing strategy as we have mentioned before. Smartphones are becoming the main gateway that people pass through to access the internet, so you need to make sure that everything you do is optimized for every mobile device.

eBay mobile

Photo by SaleHoo

From your email campaigns to your website, every aspect of your business needs to be mobile-friendly. Below, are a few things worth considering when optimizing your online presence for mobile users.

Page Load Times

When it comes to using your website, the amount of time it takes to load can have a big effect on whether or not mobile customers choose to stick around. If a website takes longer than 3-seconds to load, 40% of visitors will head elsewhere. That’s a ton of leads that could be heading towards your competition because your website or listing isn’t properly optimized.

An easy way to check how quickly your site is loading is by running it through Google PageSpeed Insights. It’s a handy tool that will let you know exactly how accessible your site is as well as give you solid advice for improving your load times. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly turn customers away which is why every 3Dsellers store and listing designs are guaranteed to be completely mobile responsive.

eBay mobile

Use 3Dsellers listing templates – they are 100% mobile responsive 

Micro Moments

Google defines every time a user picks up a smartphone to learn, do, discover, watch, or buy something as a ‘micro-moment’ and since the average person checks their smartphone 150 times per day, these micro-moments are now happening everywhere all of the time.

This means, as a business owner, you need to start thinking about how you can use content to capture people in those critical moments of intent. Whether it’s a how-to YouTube video, an Instagram infographic, or an informative blog article, you need to create a strategy for getting your business in front of your customers when they need your products and services the most. If you’re a 3Dsellers PRO member, you can now easily capture their attention by creating a video with our Video Maker.

If you want to plan out how you can take advantage of micro-moments for your business, Google has an in-depth guide that should give you the inspiration you need to create an effective mobile content strategy.

eBay mobile

Up Your Packaging Game

Data indicates 52 percent of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases from an online merchant that delivers premium packaging.

The presentation is everything to millennials. If you want to make an impact, you can’t simply send products out in your run-of-the-mill packaging. Millennials expect more. In order to create an unforgettable unboxing experience for your customers, one that they will undoubtedly desire to share with their friends on social media (thus increasing brand awareness), it is worthwhile spending extra on packaging that reflects your brand and makes your customers excited to both receive and open the products you send them.

Millennials are Interested in Brands

Social media and technology enhancements have helped bridge the gap between consumers and brands. Ultimately, people want to buy from people, not a corporation. The more consumers relate to your brand, the greater the chance that they’ll become returning customers and you’ll be able to sell on social media. In fact, 65% of millennials feel that they’re as loyal to brands as their parents are.

Now’s the time to get in on the ground floor, as millennials shopping habits are still being formed. Facilitate easy points of purchase and opportunities for deeper engagement. Understanding who the millennials are will ensure your message resonates with your biggest spending audience.

Keep your online reputation intact

Millennials do their research. Poor reviews will get you in trouble with your potential customers, but they’ll also get you into trouble on marketplaces like eBay. Negative feedback can lower your seller performance metrics, get you suspended from the marketplace or even kicked off permanently. So, make it easy for customers to return items, and encourage them to write reviews – using a smart Feedback Reminder. Many of them will be just as quick to write a good review as read one.

And if you do receive negative feedback, make sure to set things right immediately. Here are some examples of how one Top Rated eBay seller responded to negative feedback:

Photo from ChannelReply

As you see, the sellers above are consistent in responding to every negative comment with “We are sorry” and “We have sent you a message to offer a solution” which serves to reassure buyers. Given the high number of positive reviews as well, it is clear that this seller takes all complaints seriously and responds positively when customers contact them.

 

Consider Loyalty Programs

Millennials love a good loyalty program. In fact, 78% of millennials are more likely to choose a brand that offers a loyalty or rewards program over a brand that doesn’t offer one. This behavior is further proof of millennials’ desire for an open give-and-take with a retailer. They want the relationship but they also want something in return. They’re loyal and they’ll be your advocates but loyalty and free advertising usually come at a price. Luckily, you can build loyalty towards your brand without needing to increase in your advertising cost with our ThankYou Emails. 

Photo from AMA

Invest in Email Marketing

Millennials expect excellent customer service from any business they buy from. They want to support companies that can answer their questions and assist when help is needed. This generation loves to share customer support experiences with their friends on social media—both good AND bad—so if you’re a large-scale seller, instead of hiring people (and spending money on salaries), consider using “Thank you” emails to present your support and customer care. You can even add social links to each and every email to offer customers additional points of contact.

Make sure you create an amazing customer experience for anyone who chooses to interact with your business, no matter how big or small of a customer they might be. On social media, everyone has a voice. Treat all your customers with respect, work to delight them whenever possible, be responsive, and most of all – be human.

Visuals are everything

Since older generations prefer informational materials, content with visual elements is not a necessity for them. These individuals primarily value reliable and rich, text-based materials that are helpful and rationally support their decisions.

On the other hand, Millennials seek visuals. It doesn’t matter if the content is entertaining, inspirational or educational; they need more than just text. Research shows that content with video or images has 94% more views than text-based information. This explains why predominantly visual networks, such as Instagram and Snapchat, are so popular among this generation.

Indeed Millennials value the diversity of media. These individuals grew up in an environment overloaded by information of different types. This caused them to be the most distracted generation yet. A recent Nielsen study showed that Millennials have lower program engagement and ad memorability scores than any other generation. So consider the kinds of marketing headers which have a clean, lean look as opposed to the ones used to in the 90’s (loud with lots of text and rainbow colors).

3Dsellers listing templates have a stunning library of over 200,000 high quality images you can use to categorise your products

Business Transparency Leads to Loyalty

According to a recent survey conducted by Label Insight, when a brand offers complete transparency, 94% of consumers are likely to be loyal to that brand. When consumers switch to a brand in favor of increased transparency, they are likely to stay for the long haul. In fact, 56% say they would be very likely to stay loyal to a completely transparent brand for life. By being transparent you clearly state expectations (good and bad) ahead of time, and by doing so on your eBay listings you will also reduce the risk of receiving a negative feedback. 

One way to incorporate this into your eBay listing is by using one of our listing templates. Take advantage of the categories feature where you can clearly state the shipping and return policy through simple icons. After all, no one likes to read policy text when simple icons help shoppers see the policy benefits they are interested in, such as a 30-day return policy or free shipping right away. 

Final Thoughts

Millennials are children of technology and would rather chew off their arms than give up their smartphones. And yet we also see non-millennials, who have become just as dependent on their own gadgets, which weren’t even around when they were the same age as millennials are now. This is an example of how millennials influence the behavior of other generations. This means when you target them, you aren’t just targeting 80 million people but their social spheres of influence as well.

It’s also interesting to note that millennials are much more involved with their favorite brands. They’re active in providing and reading feedback, both positive and negative, for nearly every product they encounter. They also fill out surveys to provide data on how they want to be treated, what products they want, and what content they like to consume. This is incredibly valuable information from a marketing perspective, because they’re not shy about demanding satisfaction. An e-commerce strategy that incorporates these insights into the overarching marketing plan is the most likely to be effective.

With these trends at the top of your mind, you’ll be well on your way to building marketing campaigns that reach Millennials and in turn, grow your business.

Happy selling!

Are you ready to take on the next generation of consumers? Are there any Millennial marketing trends that we missed?
Let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

Are you ready to take on the next generation of consumers? Any millennial marketing trends that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

We love to hear from you!

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