Be transparentMillennials now have the largest and most diverse population in the United States as of 2016 and by 2017 Millennials will have more spending power than any other generation. They are the most connected and technically savvy generation of all. They’ve lived through a capricious economy and are more aware of social, environmental and political issues than any other generation in history. They pay attention to big business and are more inclined to support companies who put their money where their heart is. In short, they are an important market for business today. That is why we have this on-going series of posts about how to attract Millennial shoppers. And more than any other generation, this is a group that demands transparency and trust in your business practices

Winning Millennial shoppers trustIf a Millennial shopper walks by a store, they may love everything in the window. But that love for the store may quickly devolve into abhorrence if they walk in and see that the quality is not good, or the prices are marked up way too high, or if they find out the products are being tested on baby bunnies, made by workers not being paid a fair wage, their factories pollute the environment, products contain toxic ingredients, maybe the company is dishonest or unfair in some way, or maybe the sales clerk is just too busy to even say hello.

Transparency creates trust and trust are how relationships are started. Having strong positive relationships and trust build customer loyalty. Trust is built on creating an emotional relationship. That means connecting with your customers and aligning your brand with their motivations and desires. 

Socially-responsibleMillennials want to know where their product is coming from and according to the Nielson report, more than half would rather buy a socially conscious brand than a luxury brand. Millennials want to live in a world where companies adhere to their ethics and are held accountable. They appreciate quality, efficiency, instant feedback, stewardship and collaboration.

This is a list of 10 ways that retailers can become more transparent to gain the trust and attract more Millennial shoppers.  

  1. Engagement Millennials want to know you are not just a stone cold corporate face. They want to interact with real people. Engage with your customers offline and online through social media. This will allow you to personalize experiences and spark new relationships. 
  1. Fair Pricing Cost transparency is about breaking down production costs into labor, materials, transporting and responsibilities for all of their shoppers to see. Millennials are doing their research on how much things cost to make and getting to know the factories. Brands like the clothing company, Everlane, are skyrocketing because they offer quality items at better prices and encourage customers to learn about the products they buy.
  1. Authenticity Keep it 100 by being transparent about how your store uses technology, resources and talent. Talk to your customers, be accessible, accountable and honest. Nobody is perfect. So, if you mess up, own up to it in a big way. Exposing vulnerabilities and owning up to mistakes is a good way to be more transparent and boost your reputation.
  1. Millennial shoppers conversationCommunication Millennials want to be part of the conversation. They can be a valuable asset and their opinions should be taken seriously. In fact, most Millennials won’t even buy anything without looking up a review first. The internet is your opportunity to shine and to go above and beyond to provide the best customer service. By communicating with your customers, you make sure that they are getting what they want, it spurs innovation and creates a more valuable shopping experience. 
  1. Multi-Tech Devices According to Elite Daily, nearly 90% of Millennials are actively using two to three devices a day. Millennials are always on the go, and it’s important to be optimized for multiple platforms so that you can deliver the right message at the right time. Make sure to collect and use digital information with integrity. Don’t share or sell contact data without permission and have the proper security because your shoppers are counting on you to keep their private information safe.
  1. Brand Loyal Creating a good relationship with your customers is essential because only 1% of Millennials say they are influenced in any way by advertising. 68% of Millennials make a purchase based on a friends post. Millennials have almost unlimited choices and having a great product, exceptional customer service, reviews and engagement are essential. Millennials look to social media and to their peers for an authentic assessment on which brands they can trust. If it’s a product and experience they love, they are likely to stick with it and tell others about it.
  1. Be-relevantBe Relevant “I’m old, but not obsolete.”- The Terminator. Get connected. Technologies are always evolving and can help you create a better customer experience. Find your customers and stay true to who they are. Keep up to date on the scene and don’t change just because everyone else is doing it. Things are happening every day in the news and in pop culture and it’s important to stay closely connected with what is important to your customers.  
  1. Co-Create Millennials don’t want to sit on the sidelines, but they don’t always know how to get involved. 42% of Millennials would like to help companies develop future products and services. says a survey by Forbes. Retail companies can gain Millennial attention by offering ways that facilitate interaction and invite their customers to take part in things like environmental and social projects, to learn new skills or to network with like-minded people. Retailers like Urban Outfitters have artists come in and teach screen printing classes.
  1. Care and give backGive Back 75% of Millennials think it’s important for a company to give back to society in some way. Millennial shoppers put their dollars where their hearts are. They want to make an impact and are more likely to shop at stores and buy products that give back to society.   
  1. Care Millennial customers want to count more than your bottom line. Prove to them that you care and strive to provide value. When you share with your customers, it elicits feedback and shows that you are interested in what they think. They want to feel like their time is valuable and response times for shipping and customer service need to be reasonable.

Transparency and trust are of utmost importance to Millennial shoppers. This is a big shift in consumer thinking. To really understand the data, you need to look at the emotions involved with these consumers. They are a much stronger driving force with Millennial shoppers. Retailers and brands need to make that shift at all customer touchpoints. For more information on how to attract Millennial shoppers, see our previous posts on personalizing your marketing, creating unique in-store experiences, creating relaxing shopping environment, using radio and adding more services

Have any other tips on how you use transparency to gain trust with Millennial shoppers. We would love to hear about them. Just add them to the comment section below.

Sarah Knight_HeadshotSarah Knight, Transparently seeking trust

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