Getting to know the millennial shopper

Shoppers at either end of the generation spectrum hold some of the most exciting opportunities. Elyse Charvin from him! introduces us to the millenial shopper.

Amongst younger shoppers, there is room to increase how much they spend. Millennials, for example, are very valuable as they are frequent visitors.

In Ireland 85% are likely to visit a c-store at least once a month, versus 80% average. However, despite the attention millennials attract from the media, we still don’t know much about who they are and how they shop.

Elyse Charvin
Elyse Charvin

Allow him! international to introduce you to them.

The ‘last of the millennials’ (16 to 24 years) have come of age during a time of technological change, globalisation and economic disruption. This unprecedented environment has implanted a different set of behaviours from previous generations.

Rather than materialism, the focus for them is on experiences. Millennials globally are more likely to want to enjoy every life moment and thus over index in visiting a c-store in order to treat themselves (24% versus 17% global shopper average). Ireland is where this difference in behaviour is most striking with 32% of millennials looking to indulge themselves versus 17% average shopper).

Another mission this age group over indexes in is snack purchases 27% versus 17% average shopper. It increases to 40% of young shoppers in Switzerland, twice the amount of the average shopper!

Food is a big part of the millennial’s life. This shopper base over indexes in food to go during any part of the day and is the most likely to have healthy intentions. However, less than three in ten agree that c-stores have enough healthy options, retailers should capitalise on this by stocking healthier products and making sure their customers know.

Equally, suppliers should shout about their healthy options on social media. This is where this generation gets its inspiration from. Instagram for example is used to find tips about where to go and buy food and what to eat through food bloggers they follow.

Even though their inspiration is mostly pre-shop, convenience stores should entice them whilst in store as well. Indeed, millennials globally are more likely to buy their evening meal on the day they plan to eat it and buy on impulse on one in four visits.

Promotions are the most effective mechanism to drive impulse purchases. Some 27% of millennials globally aim to buy on promotion during most trips to the store versus 22% shopper average. Staff can also play a role in upselling.

This generation is more likely to buy an item recommended by an employee (one in six visits versus one in nine on average). This can be encouraged easily as they are also more likely to ask a member of staff for help.

Providing great service and a personable shopping experience is a fantastic USP c-stores should work hard to maintain. However nearly 49% of Millennials think convenience stores have friendly and helpful staff versus 54% average shopper.

So what’s the key to getting these shoppers to return to store? Excellent customer service and getting smart with interrupting and inspiring Millennials are key.