Millennials are now the largest group in the American workforce, and they’re ready to spend.
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According to research from Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist, Millennials currently spend $170 billion per year, and are projected to spend $200 billion annually starting in 2017 and $10 trillion in their lifetimes. But now that the first crop of Millennials (roughly aged 34) is getting married and having children, a new sector within the generation has formed: the Millennial mom.
Having a child causes families to think about brand loyalty, new products, and what they eat, among a multitude of other factors.
“Millennials are super savvy and onto your BS. They will actually make you work for their loyalty and hard-earned money” says Allison Marsh, director of client and customer services at C Space, a branding consultancy firm that has worked with Hallmark, FedEx (NYSE:FDX), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), and Godiva.
It goes without saying that Millennial moms’ lives are dominated by social media, which influences their retail purchases. A report from Exponential found that Millennial moms spend an average of 17.4 hours per week on social sites -- a fair amount of that viewing translates into product reviews and likes.
Marsh notes that Millennials will automatically head to the comments or reviews section when determining if they’ll buy a product or not. But one of the common problems retailers face is biased or false reviews that could prevent another customer from purchasing the product. Marsh says that to prevent this, retailers should provide other avenues of information like interactive videos of a product or what to pair an item with.
Another aspect of social media is the pressure to lead the perfect life and show off "having it all." For Millennials, it’s about the experience that they can document on Instagram and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). When working with Hallmark to help them learn more about Millennial moms, C Space asked moms to take pictures of their daily life over the course of a few weeks. Hallmark came out with a Northpole Communicator, a tool for kids to talk to Santa’s helpers, and learned from moms’ photos that a kid’s favorite place to talk to the Elves was snuggled in bed. The picture strategy helped Hallmark plan their Northpole events and advertising for the holiday season
And it seems as if a retailer can’t be successful unless they have an app paired with their brick-and-mortar presence and website. But Marsh says that an app has to serve a purpose and play the role of making the user’s life easier. Indeed a report from Weber Shandwick found that Millennial moms are highly interested in life management outsourcing, proving that any app needs to earn its way into a busy mom’s life. For example, the option to deposit a check via mobile app made banking apps take off, according to Marsh.
Marsh says the biggest mistake retailers can make is lumping Millennial moms together as the crazed, frazzled, running late working mom. “They’re missing the nuances. Because they don’t understand who the audience is, they're really not connecting emotionally with them” she says.