Cracking the code of the Millennial mindset can be as frustrating as waiting for dial up internet was back in the 90s. Retailers looking to market to this generation really need to understand what makes this generation tick because many traditional strategies of building customer loyalty don’t necessarily work for Millennials.
Millennials are generally defined as individuals born in the 1980s and 1990s. The Millennial generation now totals 1.8 billion globally and is expected to have a lifetime value of $10 trillion dollars. This generation was heavily influenced by the global financial crisis in 2008, which made them more frugal. This is great news for retailers with loyalty programs!
Here are 5 things retailers can do to earn customer loyalty from this demographic:
1. Make It Personal
It’s no surprise that the selfie generation doesn’t want cookie cutter rewards when they sign up for a loyalty program. While price conscious Millennials do value loyalty programs that offer them discounts, they want more tailored discounts and rewards.
According to CrowdTwist’s research report “Gen Z Vs Millennials: The Changing Landscape of Loyalty” “73.07% of the Millennials we surveyed stated that they would be willing to share personal information with a brand in exchange for a more personalized experience.” Creating personalized rewards based on past purchases helps create loyalty with these customers. Make this generation feel like you understand what they really want and you’ll earn their loyalty.
2. Support A Cause
Millennials are a very civic-minded generation. They want to do business with brands that support causes they care about. These consumers are interested in advancing wellness, sustainability, and humanitarian aid.
If retailers want to capture the attention and loyalty of this group, they should partner with causes millennials care about that also align with their company’s brand identity. One way retailers can keep Millennials engaged in their loyalty program is to offer the ability to redeem reward points for charitable donations. Allowing them to choose the charity further personalizes the experience for them.
3. Make It Fun
Millennials crave a break from the stress of “adulting.” They value loyalty programs that have a competitive game or social aspect that offers them a fun distraction. Retailers can win the loyalty of millennials by using gamification and incorporating social media into their loyalty programs.
This group has a particularly strong affinity for Facebook. CrowdTwist’s report “Demystifying Brand Loyalty Among Millennials” reveals that “74.1 percent of millennials use Facebook as their primary social network, followed by 47.3 percent that prefer YouTube, and roughly 36.1 percent that favor Instagram.” Retailers can encourage them to spread the word by offering them the ability to earn reward points by liking their corporate Facebook page and sharing posts.
Millennials become brand ambassadors for the companies they love and one of the ways they refer friends to their favorite stores is through social media. Incentivize their referrals by assigning reward points for each person they sign up or a grant them a percentage of the points their friends and family members earn.
4. Give Them Variety
Research indicates that Millennials crave more opportunities to earn points. Millennials appreciate a loyalty program that enables them to earn points in a variety of ways that go beyond the traditional spend and earn model. Giving consumers more ways to earn can also speed up the process of earning and redeeming rewards, which keeps Millennials engaged in the loyalty program.
CrowdTwist’s report “Demystifying Brand Loyalty Among Millennials” shows that “67.9 percent of millennials don’t earn points for engaging with a brand (e.g. tweeting, posting comments or reviews, opening and clicking emails, checking in, etc.). Yet, nearly 60 percent (59.5 percent) say they want to earn points for their engagement in a loyalty program.” By giving millennials the ability to earn points for visiting their company website, watching videos and reading e-mails, retailers can educate consumers on their products and services.
5. Offer Unique Rewards
Discounts and free products are great, but Millennials also value rewards that give them a unique experience. Millennials appreciate tickets to concerts, sporting events, local festivals, and theme parks.
Millennials also want exclusive rewards that make them feel special. A Colloquy survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers found that “40% of millennials said they joined a program for access to members-only sales, products and services, versus 33% of the general population.” Tiered loyalty programs that offer rewards based on a customer’s level of participation also work well.
The key to garnering customer loyalty from Millennials is to provide them with a fun, social based loyalty program that saves them money and makes them feel special. Keep them engaged by offering multiple ways to earn points and exclusive rewards they find exciting. If retailers are willing to give Millennials the things they really want in a loyalty program, they will not only become lifetime customers but also brand ambassadors who recommend your store to others.
This article was written by Loyal~n~Save, an omni-channel customer loyalty solution for retailers looking to increase customer retention and new customer acquisition.