​​Understanding Millennial Shoppers: How to Win Over the Gen Y?

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27.07.2021 research

Generation Y, Echo Boomers or Digital Natives. There are many ways of referring to this connected generation of millennial shoppers, but the key element to win their trust and engage with them is learning and focusing on their interests and needs. That’s exactly why it is important for you, grocery retailer, to understand Generation Y – and what makes them tick – before putting together loyalty campaigns aimed at their families and kids.

Millennial parents and their family dynamics

Born between the early 1980s and the year 2000, millennials today are in their twenties and thirties and they make up a significant proportion of parents, especially those of younger children. Their shopping habits not only have a huge impact on consumer trends, but they also differ significantly from those of the generations before and after them.

Millennial shoppers are, first and foremost, both men and women. Across the world, more men are taking on parental responsibilities and engaging with their child’s interests than ever before. For instance, 86% of millennial dads now go to YouTube for guidance on parenting issues like meal preparation (Think with Google). Millennial parents are also much more likely than previous generations to consult children before buying something, as 74% of parents said they involve their kids when making household decisions (Google/Ipsos Connect).

What you need to keep in mind is that traditional marketing aimed solely at mothers, or even at parents, will shut out a significant portion of your audience. It’s time to adapt to the Gen Y’s habits and speak to families as one, focusing both on parents and kids. For instance, knowing that millennial parents are spending more time with their children, the Russian retailer Magnit decided to reward their customers with the most famous Hasbro’s board games, giving parents and kids an opportunity to have fun and play together.



Magnit's Have Fun With Hasbro Campaign: Custom-Made Monopoly Junior Magnit Edition

How do millennial parents shop?

Compared to previous generations, millennials are much more likely to shop online or even use a mobile device while shopping in stores. According to Statista, 42% of millennials complete online shopping transactions on their phones, and they are also more likely to research brands and products online before buying them. Thus, having a trustworthy and positive online presence and exploring interactions between in-store and online activations are key factors to engage with millennial shoppers.

Read: 6 Ideas to Activate your Loyalty Campaigns Online

But just because millennials are always on their phones, it doesn’t mean that they won’t enjoy a good old visit to your store. Put simply: the Gen Y see shopping as a social experience; they find it enjoyable and relaxing. As a grocery retailer, you can tap into this aspect of the millennial mindset by giving your customers a unique in-store shopping experience they are looking for.

Explore different tactics to bring families to your store with your loyalty program, such as:

  • Launching limited edition products
  • Holding store events
  • Using pop-up attractions and ‘tester’ products
  • Adding POS display and in-store executions


What do millennials care about when making purchases?

Broadly speaking, Gen Y pays more attention to brand identity and ethical values than previous generations. About 52% of millennials prefer to shop at retailers that align with their own values (Euclid). Often, these values might be ethical concerns, such as sustainability and social responsibility, which are easily combined with loyalty programs. These are important opportunities for you to nail this side of your branding and win the emotional loyalty of your millennial shoppers.

A great example of embracing ethical concerns into customers rewards is the Space Jam: A New Legacy Campaign, in Denmark. For this loyalty program, Salling Group partnered up with UNGA and together, we created our first line-up of plush toys made of recycled materials: an important step in making loyalty rewards more sustainable.


20210608 HC SJ2 Blog Detail V5

Space Jam: A New Legacy Campaign: Our Plush Toys Made from Recycled Materials

In addition, millennial parents are also both money and health-conscious. In fact, 33% of Gen Y’ers check advertisements to get the best deals on products (Acosta). However, when it comes to grocery retail shopping, millennials put health ahead of cost: they value nutrition high enough to want to buy healthy food for themselves and their families even if it costs more.

When judging the quality of a product, millennials look to other customers’ experiences above all. They’re far more likely than older generations to be influenced by what they see on social media, and 40% of the Gen Y refer to online reviews and testimonials before they make a purchase, according to Millennial Marketing. This points to, again, the importance of maintaining a strong online presence and encouraging customers to engage with your brand both online and offline.


The takeaway for grocery retailers

Knowing how this generation shop and what motivates purchasing decisions is essential to tap into this key market and connect with millennials families.

Millennial parents are savvy consumers; they aren’t taken in by simple marketing campaigns with attractive images and catchy slogans. To really get through to Generation Y, brands must make an effort to improve and highlight their brand’s quality and values, using both online and offline marketing channels to communicate these messages across their audience: the perfect opportunity for a custom-made loyalty program!

But don’t worry too much about it, we can help you to create bespoke, short-term loyalty campaigns aimed at Generation Y parents and children! Get in touch with you to learn more about our concepts specifically tailored to your audience


Learn more about our concepts specifically tailored to your audience

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