Chances are, you’re starting to hear about a new generation on the marketing scene. They’re called the “We” generation, or Centennials, as compared to the very well-known Millennials or “Me” generation… and they’re quickly going to make a splash in the shopper world. Yet, we still haven’t mastered Millennials, who are still having a major impact in the way we approach shopper marketing.
We’ve all heard it before, Millennials are dominating wallet share, and whether we like it or not, they are expected to command that power through 2017, when they are estimated to spend $200 billion annually in the U.S. alone. This big spending means retailers are paying attention to these people, who are rather particular about where and what they spend their money on, making them even more difficult for retailers to keep up with.
A lot of times people associate the “Me” Millennials in a negative way, focusing on the attributes that are self-centered, demanding and picky. But the reality is Millennials didn’t wake up and decide that they were going to be this way. They grew up in a world where technology and innovation shaped them to expect anything and everything, when and where they want it. We can’t really blame them for that.
Regardless, ME mentality is shaping shopper in a lot of beneficial ways, especially within the fashion and cosmetics categories.
“Custom for ME”
The idea that more choices give people more reasons to buy doesn’t always hold true for Millennials. In fact, they get frustrated by the hundreds of generic t-shirt options that retailers are offering. This is especially true in ecommerce and the online shopping behaviors of Millennials. Online shopping is huge, but Millennials won’t spend hours searching through endless pages of clothes to find what they are looking for. Instead, Millennials want to be directly given customized options that speak to their styles, wants and needs. This demand for customization has forced online retailers to focus on the filters within their sites to make shopping a more personal experience. Like to Know It is an app/online service that is doing a great job in catering to the needs and wants of Millennials. Like to Know It allows customers to shop their favorite Instagrams. They like an image and then receive a ready-to-shop link directly in their email inbox. All the items in the image are ready to purchase from the link. This easy to shop solution is providing consumers with the custom outfits they crave, quickly and easily. Best of all, they don’t even have to leave their house to get it. Check it out here.
”Quality for ME”
While Millennials do focus on how much money they spend, that’s not the only factor in making a purchase. Most Millennials will pay more for quality product. That, too, can be said for a lot of people, but the difference with Millennials is that they are looking at product comparisons and reviews for a wider variety of things that they buy. They use reviews to make decisions about everyday goods, not just high-priced purchases. YouTube has become a popular source for reviews and product comparisons among Millennials, partially because they are viewed as trustworthy and come directly from someone that Millennials can relate to. Claire Marshall is a popular YouTube star who gives makeup and beauty tips. She is known to promote Sephora products and has roughly 750,000 subscribers.
“Unique for ME”
We’ve already talked about how Millennials want custom options, and this takes that one step further in that they also want things to be unique to them. It’s really important that they make their own statement. Because of this, Millennials seek out shops that provide them with unique options that can’t be found anywhere else. Gilt is a great example of an online retailer offering unique and exclusive options. What’s interesting about Gilt is that it’s a membership-based online retailer that not only provides insider access to top design labels, but also taps into analytics to help understand customer preferences and behaviors. The knowledge that they receive from these metrics plays a huge role in providing their customers with the unique styles and designs that they are looking for. To take a closer look at Gilt, click here:
Despite the fact that the Millennials will soon be replaced by the Centennials, it’s important to acknowledge that even though we haven’t mastered Millennials quite yet, we have made some strong headway in the fashion and beauty categories. The changes in these categories further stress the impact that Millennials have, and will continue to have, on the shopper world. As Millennials become Centennials, it will be interesting to see how this space continues to evolve.
Carly Smith Johnson is a strategist at Momentum Atlanta