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Twenty years ago, brick-and-mortar retailing was still the main way for customers to access products. The retail industry spent a great deal of time and money trying to improve the layout of their stores. They also focused on methods of advertising to attract customers across demographics, though the mediums were limited to print advertisements, television and radio, as well as signage. As the internet became more and more a part of daily life, retail businesses began to utilize the new medium as a way to even more directly reach customers, targeting those interested in particular products, retail properties offers and in specific demographics. One of the most desired demographics today is the lucrative group known as “millennials”.

The value of the millennials

Born between 1982 and 2000, the millennial generation began to come of age at the dawn of a new century. Growing up in an age of computers and the internet, millennials are decidedly more tech-savvy than their parents or grandparents and, with more than 80 million members, are poised to not only exceed the Baby Boomers generation in size, but also in their influence. Millennials, in general, get along well with their parents and older family members and their opinions on everything from vehicles and furniture to clothing and, of course, media and electronics, are eagerly sought after and valued. In addition, the millennial generation is proportionately more affluent than previous generations, with even preteens spending an average of $10 or more per week. Millennials are also frugal, though they are more than willing to spend large sums of money on homes, vehicles, and other products that they see as worthwhile.

For retail businesses, it is obvious why targeting this demographic is valuable and necessary. It is especially important for brick-and-mortar businesses, which have the added difficulty of overcoming the allure of Internet shopping. The millennial generation are used to obtaining what they want immediately, if not sooner, so “old-fashioned” shopping may not seem as if it would appeal to them. However, millennials are also beginning to settle down, raising families and putting down roots in communities, so the traditional appeal of the retail store will draw them in. The trick, then, is to keep them interested and making purchases.

Keeping millennials interested in your business

The effects of technology on millennials go beyond simply how they access information. Exposed to technology from their earliest days, millennials tend to get bored easily and have shorter attention spans so connecting with them means communicating information quickly. Millennials are also more attuned to visual stimuli; so straightforward advertising with an emphasis on customer service and sustainability is the key to holding their attention.

Millennial consumers are also very skilled with multitasking and are always on the lookout for brands and products that not only align with their lifestyles and values, but also give them the opportunity to be a part of the marketing process offline and through the Internet.

Keeping millennials interested in a retail business is actually quite simple. Get to know this unique generation, taking into account their unique traits and way of thinking while planning a business strategy, and successfully connecting with them will be easy and effective.

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