If you’re an online or off-line retailer, why are millennial parents such important customers for you? The short answer is, “Because there are so many of them.” Half of all children in the U.S. have millennial parents, according to The National Retail Federation’s Spring Consumer View. Every year, more than 1 million millennial women have children. Millennials hold the majority of the purse strings for the $1 trillion-plus American parents spend on their children each year.
But sheer volume isn’t the only reason millennial parents matter as retail consumers. They’re also better educated and more affluent than the average American. According to the National Retail Federation, four in 10 millennial parents have graduate degrees (more than twice the 19% of parents overall who have graduate degrees). Nearly seven in 10 have a household income above the national median of $59,000 a year (compared to 53% of parents overall).
The majority (80%) of millennial parents are in their 30s — a time when people traditionally make many big purchases, such as buying a home, major appliances, cars, furniture and more. Millennials are showing strong consumer confidence, the National Retail Federation reports, and most of them are optimistic about their futures.
All of this makes millennials a desirable target market for retailers of all sizes. In this blog post, I’ll explain how to attract millennial parents as customers, and what you can do to earn their lasting loyalty.
How to Attract Millennial Parents as Customers
1. Provide great service. Millennial parents are twice as likely as parents in general to rethink a purchase if they don’t get good customer service. In fact, this demographic rates customer service as more important than convenience or selection when it comes to evaluating retailers.
2. Make it mobile. As you might expect, millennial parents rely on their smartphones as shopping assistants at every step of their shopping journey, from researching and finding stores to comparing prices and making a purchase. The National Retail Federation says 78% use their phones to research products (compared with 58% of other parents), 75% use phones to check prices or availability (compared with 58% of other parents) and 71% use phones to place an order or pay for a purchase at checkout (compared with 51% of other parents).
3. Listen to their opinions. After making a purchase, 71% of millennial parents will leave a review or interact with customer service, compared to 43% of parents overall. Take advantage of their strong opinions to gather actionable feedback you can use to improve your store or website. Encourage them to leave reviews, and collect data from your customer service reps or salespeople about what millennial parents have to say. If you don’t listen, these customers are likely to take their business elsewhere.
4. Make it snappy. All parents are busy, but millennial parents seem to be especially so. Some 86% have used same-day shipping from retailers, compared to only 67% of parents overall. They’re also more willing to pay for expedited shipping than other parents.
5. Offer convenience. Millennial parents have a lot on their minds. That’s why they love ecommerce subscription services that ensure they never run out of key childcare products like diapers, wipes or formula. Four in 10 millennial parents use these services, compared to just 18% of parents overall. The ability to order online and pick up in store, checkout via mobile device or pay with a smartphone, or package popular products and bundles for easy shopping are other ways brick-and-mortar stores could implement the same approach.
Millennial Parents: A Loyal Audience
Once you’ve earned millennial parents’ loyalty, you’re likely to keep it for quite a while. Nearly half of millennial parents will stay loyal to brands they like, even if there are cheaper options available. In contrast, just 30% of parents overall will do so. In addition, almost two-thirds of millennials will shop first at brands they’re loyal to before checking out a competitor’s wares.
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