Millennials are one of the largest demographic segments of our planet. In the US alone, they account for almost 80 million citizens and they spend an average of $600 billion per year. They are the first truly digital generation and differ greatly from the average consumer.
They respond differently to marketing and mistrust traditional advertising. Therefore, companies must address this change in values and shopping habits. This is how they can reach out to these young, digitally native consumers.
A Closer Look at Millennials Shopping Habits
How are changing values reflected in their shopping habits? Let’s consider some characteristics:
Millennials form the biggest segment of smartphone owners. 84% of them own one and it is their primary means to connect to the internet. 28% of US millennials would rather shop on their phone than on a computer.
Friends over brands, user-generated content over corporate content
Millennials trust customer content over any other kind. According to a survey, 51% of Americans trust user-generated content (UGC) over other types of information when searching for a product. In fact, 84% report that having UGC on a company website does have influence on their purchases.
A recent study revealed that price is one of the most important factors for Millennials, over quality, brand, store and availability. 95% of respondents said that their sensitivity to price is actually increasing year by year.
How can Image Recognition and Augmented Reality help?
Marketing to millennials is all about creating immersive and engaging experiences that can be shared with others. In fact, the number of Augmented Reality users, for example, is forecasted to grow by 35% in the next five years.
Another related technology is Image Recognition. It allows scan-to-shop experiences, and helps deliver additional content such as videos, tutorials, reviews… So, how can brands tap into the potential of these visual mobile technologies to attract these consumers?
1. Customizable Experiences
Brands and retailers must enable personalized interactions to engage customers. It is all about offering dynamic, accessible and continuous shopping journeys, whether in-store, online or via a mobile device.
For example, mymuesli offers a personalized multichannel shopping experience that works from stores to outdoor media to product packaging. They integrated a visual search functionality that turns their app into a product scanner. Customers just need to snap the product icons representing the 80 different organic ingredients with their phone. Then, they can add them to their own custom mix and order it right away.
mymuesli app works with object recognition that matches the images of the icons the customer snaps with images in a database.
2. Engagement and Interaction
Create a dialogue with customers, in order to build relationships. Make sure there is a two-way communication and they are not just passive recipients. Augmented Reality apps allow users to willingly engage with brands in a more immersive and personal way, as they add an interactive digital layer to reality.
For example, AR+ have developed interactive Augmented Reality maps and postcards in 21 cities so far. The app lets tourists view 3D models of attractions, watch videos, listen to audio guides, buy tickets and much more.
3. Shareable Content
Traditional advertising may not be trusted, but friends’ opinions are. Create content that is share-worthy to make your brand popular amongst millennials.
Sephora’s Virtual Artist app, for instance, allows users to virtually try on different products. Customer can visualize how they would look on them, and share the results with friends. And for Millennials, friend’s opinions matter. No matter if it is related to advice on which shade of lipstick to buy or recommending a newly discovered item.