The Truth About Millennial Shoppers

It’s no news millennials are a huge market. The gap between them and generation X creates an abyss of difference. Are you doing what it takes to attract them?

Victor Ijidola
December 18 2017

Millennial shoppers (those born in the mid-early 80’s and 90’s) are a special breed of consumers.

They have access to technology that allows them to be as expressive and fun, or as hi-tech and analytical as they want. They like to take the shortest route possible to achieve things, since the tools and resources (eg: social media) to do so are widely available today. Millennials aren’t the same as shoppers born before the 1980s. While the ‘older’ shopper considers a purchase so seriously they have to discuss it over a phone call, the millennial shopper has picked up her WhatsApp to get the business done. They, or we — I’m a proud millennial — are different.

And it’s no news millennials are a big market. One Accenture study says millennial shoppers spend $600 billion annually, and their spending power will reach $1.4 trillion by 2020 (about two years from now).

How do you attract this large market of young people and convert them?

With your growth hacking hat on, exploit User Generated Content (UGC)

UGC is all about utilizing the content created by your users about your product or brand to promote your product. And according to a recent study, 70% of consumers trust peer reviews and recommendations over any other type of traditional marketing materials.

Here’s a sample UGC from a Coke customer:


Coke encourages customers to share UGC like this by printing people’s names on Coke bottles with the #ShareACoke. Even customers who don’t find Coke bottles with their name use the hashtag. It’s a brilliant marketing tactic. What’s even more interesting about selling to millennial shoppers and asking them to share UGC is that young people are naturally social. They already want to share. And they don’t even need you to ask them to spread the word.

When their pet does something amazing, they share it. If they’re visiting the zoo for the first time, they tell everyone (and wonder of wonders, the zoo gets the free adverts).

It works the same way when millennials use a product they love. If your product or brand excites millennials, they want to tell their friends about it that instant. This is where you need to wear your growth hacking hat. You may not consider yourself a growth hacker, but taking a little step like this will have you channeling a new identity.

Growth hacking is about looking for unconventional opportunities to grow your business. To use UGC the growth hacking way, you need to be on the lookout for unconventional, out-of-the-ordinary opportunities that encourage customers to share content about your brand. Create a branded hashtag and encourage people to share — like the #ShareACoke example above. In your thank you pages, after-sales emails, etc., actively ask people to share using links you already provided. Remember, millennials are happy to be social — so look for ways you can ask them to share things about your brand, and be sure to make it an easy and fun process.

Only use influencers millennials follow

Like UGC, influencers impact millennial shoppers a lot — 48% of respondents ages 18-24 say they’ll try a brand or product recommended by an influencer.

But where many businesses fumble when using influencer marketing is when they use influencers who don’t have many millennials as followers. They look at the hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers an influencer has, and conclude the influencer has everything they need to sell their product.

You need to target the influencers millennial shoppers actually engage with and follow. Untargeted influencers will drive awareness, but not action because they’ll advertise your brand to people who don’t necessarily need it. Your choice of influencer must have the millennial shoppers you’re looking to attract as followers.

Mercedes-Benz wanted to attract millennials to their brand. So they launched a vigorous campaign video of their cars in outdoor situations young people would find exciting and attractive. Then they promoted their brand across roughly 25 top social media influencers via Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest and YouTube. This is such a smart strategy for a brand looking to attract millennials, since 90% of young adults — ages 18 to 29 — use social media.

The global automobile manufacturer seems to understand which influencers millennials would mostly likely follow on social media. They used people like Devin Graham, Loki the Wolf Dog, Chris Coombs, Casey Neistat and 21 others.

While there are no hard and fast numbers for exactly how many millennials follow these influencers, it’s obvious a significant amount of millennials follow and engage with whatever they’re posting online. Look for such influencers and you will inject your advertising with a more powerful outreach.

Advertise only via platforms millennial shoppers use the most

Millennial shoppers aren’t everywhere. They use specific platforms and you need to figure what those platforms are. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. LinkedIn isn’t exactly a hot spot unless you’re targeting millennial job seekers or professionals. Millennials also tend to use mobile apps a lot more than older folks. If you’re planning to or are already using Google Ads, Google allows you to run ads on apps used by android users. And the interesting thing about advertising to millennials via mobile apps is: About 80% of millennials believe that advertisements are necessary for businesses to survive.

And now, for the pièce de résistance, one-click sign-up systems.

Use one click sign-up systems

Millennials were born in the digital era. They grew up with fast systems. It’s during their time that pages that take longer than three seconds to load kill conversions. It’s clear that they like fast processes. One-click sign up processes are gold. They’re fast and easy. With a single click, users can sign up to your site. As long as things continue to move pretty fast from there, you’re guaranteed better conversions. You made it easy for them while they are a hot prospect.



It’s a no brainer: easily convert millennials by making your sign-up process as easy as one click.

The Finale

If the 1.8 billion of the world’s population are millennials and 90% of them (according to the stat I cited above) are on social media, you need to meet them where you will find them. If you haven’t already, learn the social media avenues they use, and target millennial shoppers.

You can of course run general marketing campaigns that target other generations, but to take advantage of this large market of young people, you need to create marketing campaigns that appeal specifically to them.

Make use of the suggestions here and get your mojo on with UGC, millennial influencers, and one-click sign-ups. When you do, you’ll harness a whole new world of consumers.


Victor Ijidola

Victor Ijidola is a conversion-driven content marketer and copywriter. Contact him at Premium Content Shop.

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