How to Market to Millennial Customers as a Retailer

For locally-owned retailers, the millennial audience is key to growing business. An estimated 86% of millennials are digital buyers, which means refining your online marketing strategy is key to capturing the demographic. To do this successfully, it’s important to understand their specific spending habits to deliver your product successfully to this audience. 


The three drivers of millennial purchases are quality, value, and the perceived image of products. Because millennials grew up in the digital age, they’re attuned to comparison shopping and will often browse multiple retailers before purchasing. 


Unfortunately, as a local retailer, it’s not uncommon to lack the ability to price match with big-box retailers. That said, focus on the value of your products — which will indirectly affect the perceived image millennials will experience with the purchase. 


  • Highlight environmental impacts: Millennials will spend more money on products with positive environmental impacts and high ethical standards. Whether you highlight your production line, eco-friendly packaging, or ethical labor, communicate with transparency to emphasize the positive impact your product has on the larger community.
  • Offer free delivery and easy returns: The Global Web Index reports that nearly half of millennials say free delivery would urge them to make a purchase. Highlight the cost savings of free delivery and make return policies easily accessible on your website to add value to each purchase. 
  • Consider multiple marketing formats: Get creative with your marketing strategy to include social media, blog posts, video content, and photo content. Depending on your budget, affiliate marketing is another effective way to expand your brand reach, as millennials are highly conscious of peer reviews on products.
  • Use a subscription-based marketing model: Millennials are the renting generation with a preference towards using certain products and services, without the major responsibility that comes with ownership. Using a subscription-based model for your products communicates less commitment to this generation, and often more brand loyalty. 

All in all, millennials are a generation that focuses heavily on the transparency of brands. They want their products to align with their beliefs and values, and it’s important to build connections with an audience that highlights those connections.


Jessica is a Content Marketing Specialist developing high-quality content for diverse industries including tech, finance, travel, and lifestyle. Her work can be seen featured on sites like Better Homes and Gardens and wikiHow. Read more of her posts on Possible Finance .

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