Retail Customer Experience: Why Generation Y Isn’t Buying Your Products
By Christine Carter, owner of Epps Consulting
Through a special arrangement,
presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Retail
Customer Experience, a daily news portal devoted to helping retailers
differentiate the shopping experience.
As a 23-year-old consumer, I can tell
you this: my attention is short, my demands are great and my purchases are
diverse. I live in a day and age where social media apps, slogan tees and
even Nike sneakers can be customized to fit my lifestyle.
Studies vary, but
Generation Y is typically considered to be made up of people born between 1979
and 1997. There are 113 million in the U.S. shopping in malls and boutiques
54 times a year, and we have approximately $100 a week in disposable income
burning a hole in our pockets.
We tend to live with only one parent, which
makes us more open-minded than our predecessors. Conversely, traditional values
and parental approval are very important. Our Baby Boomer parents taught us
the importance of being socially conscious. Generation Y is also, of course,
the most technologically savvy generation yet.
Because our generation responds
and adapts rather quickly to social changes, we have emerged from the recession
as “Recessionistas,” informed shoppers who
stick to tight budgets while still managing to stay trendy and cultured. In addition
to buying necessities and spending as Recessionistas, we continually strive for
goods that express our individuality. In just a decade, we’ve influenced the
production of monogrammed screen tees, colored laptop computers and rhinestone
cell phone accessories.
If you’re able to keep these strategies in mind when marketing to
Generation Y today, you’ll secure a lifelong customer in the future as we evolve
into mature adults and parents.
1. Appeal to our egos, our parents, AND
THEN our senses. Your
products and services should appeal to our individuality, but they should
also be something we can share with our Baby Boomer parents. Again, brands
such as the Gap and Nordstrom have successfully managed to offer products
that both generations find appealing. Another reason these brands have
been so successful is because their strategic choice of music, lighting,
color palette, layout and visual merchandising appeals to Generation
2. Minimize the television ads. We
were glued to the tube as kids. We’ve learned to tune out traditional advertising
methods. Convey your funny or emotional messages to Generation Y via guerilla,
viral and social media marketing first, then supplement with traditional
advertising. Another tip: We love word-of-mouth referrals and celebrity
3. Offer a new take on promotions. If
your store is at or near a location where we spend the majority of our
time (shopping malls, concert arenas, theme parks or movie theatres), incorporate
these locations into your promotions. Consider cross-promoting with these
venues as well.
If James Cameron’s box-office bonanza “Avatar” taught
us anything, it’s that studying is the first step toward profiteering.
Like the Na’vi, for many retailers, Generation Y are aliens that leave
them confused. The only thing that’s predictable about us is our unpredictability.
Our personalities and shopping patterns are so vastly different from what
was previously exhibited by Generation X. Sorry, but we turned out to be
nothing like our older siblings.
What do you think retailers and brands may still not understand about
selling to the Gen Y generation? What do you think of the advice
offered in the article regarding marketing to Gen Y?