We’ve been hearing about Millennials for a while now. While sources differ on the exact cut-off dates, this demographic roughly covers people born between the early eighties and the late nineties. Millennials started streaming into the work force a decade ago and their influence has been felt across business sectors.
Millennials are characterized by individualism and self-expression, and this affects how they live, work, and interact with the world. It influences their purchasing decisions and their lifestyle choices. Any business would do well to consider Millennial habits and ideals.
Embrace the digital
Millennials are sometimes accused of seeking only instant gratification. This isn’t necessarily accurate, but this generation has grown up surrounded by technology. They can do almost everything faster and with less effort, from microwaving food to making a phone call on the go. So when they are dealing with brands, they expect efficiency and immediate response.
For Millennials, the Internet isn’t a tool or a hobby. It’s a key part of their lives. They often spend more time online than offline. A brand that wants to engage Millennials must establish a strong online presence, especially on social media. Remember, even though it’s called “social media,” that doesn’t mean that the goal is to be ‘social.’ Prioritize information and prompt engagement over hard sell, which puts Millennials off.
Small business is king
Efficiency is a by-product of immediacy, and this means a lot to Millennials. When you post on social media, they will often respond with comments and questions. They will hold your brand in higher regard if you deal with their concerns in a fast, friendly, human manner.
This might be why Millennials prefer small mom-and-pop businesses to large corporations. Smaller businesses have a smaller staff and are more likely to have a human touch. As you market to Millennials, focus on this strength and build on your clout as a localized entity. Such establishments often attain niche cult status among Millennials, who can be quite loyal to a brand they prefer.
Plastic over paper
Because Millennials spend so much time online, and because they expect attentive, timely service, they are well-adapted to online purchasing and mobile card processing. They are security-conscious, technologically-savvy, and know how to keep themselves and their money safe. That means when they transact online, they will check for encryption, SSL certification, and more.
To keep your Millennial customers happy, pick a payment processor that has all these areas covered. They should have military grade encryption, PCI QIR compliance, instant verification, and seamless processing. Any delays may spook a Millennial into stopping the entire transaction, which can cost you business.
Millennials are very connected and social, and they largely conglomerate online. One upset Millennial can summon a crowd of viral bad press. Ensure that your online store is effortless and easy to use by getting a verified payment processor with a proven track record. Your business should also have mobile apps as one of its payment options. Some processors offer this for no additional charge.
For more information on Millennial trends for your small business, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.