Email marketing and automation software Brevo recently surveyed 750 U.S. millennials to help marketers better understand what members of this valuable demographic are looking for in a shopping experience.
Sixty-eight percent of surveyed millennials (ages 18-34), for example, check email 2-5 times a day with another 60 percent reporting they prefer email as their preferred communication channel for retailers. Surprised? We were too, so let's connect with Brevo's Founder and CEO Armand Thiberge to learn more.
How popular is online shopping with the millennials Brevo surveyed?
Thiberge, Brevo: The millennial demographic arguably leads the digital shopping revolution. Having grown accustomed to instantaneous communication thanks to smartphones and social media, it's no surprise that they expect (and favor) an online experience. Our survey shows that nearly a third of millennials shop online at least once a month, and 18 percent shop online at least once a week. Millennials lean heavily on digital even when they're in a physical store, with 67 percent of respondents indicating that they still use their mobile device and email for resources to shop in-store.
How will this generation contribute to online retail sales this holiday season?
Thiberge: When it comes to shopping this holiday season, the largest group of millennials are shopping online and if forced to choose only one way to shop this holiday season, nearly 60 percent would skip in-store. Given that millennials represent a fourth of the U.S. population, and hold $200 billion in annual purchasing power, the demographic is one of the key customer segments online retailers are chasing this holiday season - and for good reason.
Email being millennials preferred channel to receive brand messages is a bit surprising; why do you think this generation prefers this channel over others?
Thiberge: Considering that millennials are obsessed with Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, it might seem surprising that email was cited as their preferred channel to receive brand messages. In reality, it makes complete sense based on the frequency at which millennials check email -- 80 percent check email at least five times a day. This frequency creates the perfect opportunity for retailers to surprise millennials in their inbox with an offer that's sure to brighten their day. Promotions and company-wide sales top the list of information that is most likely to make millennials take action.
Knowing this, how can brands better engage millennials via email?
Thiberge: Thankfully, the data shows not only which channel millennials want to be engaged through, but also what they want to be engaged with. The answer is quite clear -- the coveted age group likes a good deal. In this case, that means retailers should be sending millennial customers promotions (such as holiday sales and free shipping notifications), coupon codes (enter this at checkout to receive 15 percent off), and Web exclusives (provide deals that are online available online). The good news? Millennials are savvy and they are loyal to preferred retailers. Present millennials with the information and incentives they desire most to build a journey from their inbox to the website and from there, the shopping cart.
Millennials want to be engaged by brands via email, but the survey also reveals its misuse as the primary mistake made by a retailer that cause them to lose loyalty. With this is mind, how do brands walk the line?
Thiberge: The line between giving millennials what they want -- promotions, sales and coupons via email -- and abusing the channel is definitely a fine one. The good news is there is a sweet spot and the data shows brands how to hit it. Like most of us, Millennials don't appreciate spam-like messages that are impersonal and not catered to their preferences. With a newfound expectation of personalization from retailers, it's more critical than ever to send meaningful interactions. By personalizing messages and sending timely/relevant emails, you're sure to be in the clear.
The bottom line? Use the right tools available to retail marketers today and listen to your individual customers needs/wants. After all, customer service really boils down to building positive relationships.
Head of analyst relations, public relations, customer advocacy (People Heroes), customer community, content marketing (full funnel/lifecycle), content operations and optimization, reputation management and social media. Leads a team of nine superstars to exceed our goals multi-fold.