How to retain and build brand loyalty among millennials is a cross-industry challenge. Shoppers in this demographic are causing retailers to approach things in a whole new way.

There are varying interpretations of what a millennial is, but one interpretation places anybody born between 1981 and 1996 falls into the millennial bracket.

Historically, retailers have looked to retain customers in a host of ways. Brand loyalty has always been viewed as an important component in the retail space, but millennials and loyalty aren’t two things that can be easily assimilated. Millennials have different demands, different expectations and a different sense of brand loyalty altogether to those who went before them.

In short, brand loyalty is hard to develop and hard to maintain, with many millennial shoppers quick to seek alternatives if necessary.

For example, recent research from Brightpearl found that 27% of millennials would change where they shopped ‘based on the shopping experience’, and that 45% of UK millennial shoppers say they are less loyal to brands than they were one year ago.

With this in mind, how can brands retain millennial customers? We’ve highlighted ten things to try.

1 - Be innovative

According the Brightpearl, almost 70% of UK millennial customers love it when brands look to innovate and offer new ways to buy products. So to stay appealing and attractive to millennials customers, don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

2 - Personalise your offering

63% of millennials are happy to share personal information if that means they can get personalised deals and offers. So if personalisation is something you’ve not yet considered or embrace, it’s a good avenue to explore if you want to boost your millennial appeal. You can provide tailored experiences for customers based on their unique wants and needs,

3 - Get your marketing messaging right

Traditional marketing messaging around bargains and sales jargon just won’t land with millennials. They’re far more interested in being engaged with and potentially educated around something they’re not familiar with. Telling millennials what they need will actually tell them you’re not the company they want to shop with.

4 - Be careful with advertising

Traditional advertising methods don’t cut it with millennials shoppers. According to Forbes, only 1% of millennials trust a brand more due to an advertisement. There are doubts as to how authentic advertising is when it comes to millennials, and many almost automatically will skip over or block adverts that come their way. Things like PPC advertising can be really useful so don’t rule it out completely, but be selective about which avenues you explore when it comes to adverts generally.

5 - Social as a loyalty engine

Brand awareness is an important element for retailers, and social media presents ample opportunity to do this. Engaging with millennial customers on social media and being part of the social conversation can show a human side to your brand, and help you step away from solely being viewed as a retailer that wants to secure sales.

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6 - Deliver a strong user experience

User experience (UX) has never been more vital, and millennials are certainly not beyond abandoning a purchase part way through if the experience doesn’t cut it. Be sure to continuously provide the kind of experience and service they want. Fall short of the mark and you’ll see more potential purchases fall through.

7 - Be fit for mobile

A study from Hanover Research found that 50% of millennials use mobile devices to research products. So as part of a strong UX, make sure your website works seamlessly on mobile. Most businesses have this covered these days, so if you don’t, get it sorted!

8 - Invest in delivery

Millennials HATE it when delivery charges skyrocket their overall transaction fees. 68% of millennials note this as their main reason for cart abandonment according to Brightpearl. So find a delivery service that doesn’t mean you lose customers at the vital time.

9 - See the customer journey through to the end

If you think the customer journey ends once the transaction has been completed, think again. This is where a vast number of negative experiences happen, often related to factors such as delivery, customer services, returns and refunds. According to Brightpearl, 77% of 1-3 star reviews come from operational failures such as these – many of which likely happened post-purchase. Don’t just take their money and run! It could significantly damage your brand.

10 - Be smooth

If there’s an overarching message from all this, it’s that millennial and younger shoppers don’t want to have to jump through hoops to buy from you. Friction encountered on the purchasing process will only cause problems.

These ten tips can help you prevent unnecessary loss of custom and place you in a great position to provide customers in the millennial bracket with everything they want from a modern retailer.

Williams Commerce can help retailers get where they need to be. Get in touch.