January 8, 2018

Retail and Authenticity: 3 ways to attract Millennials

Every day, consumers are exploring new digital crossways and the retail industry is doing what they can to adapt.

In 2018, the Millennial Market will have more spending power than baby boomers, and by 2020 they will have a collective spending power of 1.4 trillion. As a result, we’ll see new retail behavior geared toward Millennial spending habits and lifestyle. Tech development, data consolidation, and content delivery will be the primary factors in paralleling the retail brand with the targeted customer profile, resulting in impactful changes for those who intend to keep their foothold in the industry.


 How will retail adapt? 


The word has the capacity to add value to the customer experience, and it achieves that notion when the retailer is “real” with their customers. For the Millennial crowd, customer-facing content can NOT be fluffed or forced as they’ll lose touch with the brand. What the Millennial sees must be relevant and factual, establishing a sense of credibility that makes the brand authentic and valuable in their mind’s eye.


With this philosophy, there are three ways you can expect to see retail evolve and achieve authenticity in 2018:


Data is the foundation of personalization. Retailers can collect valuable data through link tracking, customer surveys, comment cards, store purchases, heat mapping, read rates, open rates and that’s just naming a few of the many different data gathering methods out there.

After data collection and segmentation, retailers will launch personalized campaigns via text message, email, web ads, and push notification. But the messaging will different in the sense that it’s targeting individuals with personalized teasers, promotions, and discounts. Every piece of the retail marketing campaign will be tailored to stay relevant and connect with the customer, leading to a unique type of engagement that delivers better ROI.


2. Engage

The hardest step in achieving authenticity is engagement. Credibility is unobtainable without it. Why? Because customers will forever trust other customer’s opinions when making a purchasing decision. That fact is why retailers are building their social networks and creating buzz around those channels through bloggers, vloggers, and their existing social presence.

“43% of Millennials have liked more than 43 brands on Facebook, 63% stay up-to-date on brands via social media and 44% are willing to promote brands on their social networks.”

The more people that engage with the brand, the better the ROI around those personalized marketing campaigns. Email and text messaging will be the primary contributors to the push; however, the retailers who rely more on text messaging will gain better traction and drive customers through their doors with its 98% read rate and the fact that it receives 8x more engagement than email.


3. Care

Last but not least, customer care is essential in developing authenticity around the brand. Whether it’s responding to a customer on social media or requesting feedback via surveys or digital comment cards, Millennials will consider a retailer’s products when they know that the retailer considers them as well.

Retailers are constantly asking customers:

  • What they think
  • How products/services can be improved
  • If they enjoyed the experience


And retailers manage to respond in ways that are more personal, more “real” than what we’re used to. Millennials love that. It creates a buzz around the brand that drives more attention to it, leading to better engagement which ultimately establishes the authenticity retailers desire.

Social media and text messaging will be primary ways brands engage and communicate with its customers in regards to care. With social, other people will be able to see the activity, creating more customers. While with texting, it’s so personal, between just the store and the individual, that it will create loyal customers.



Individually, each method creates an added benefit to a store and its success; however, all three methods combined offers a fully robust experience that excites not only Millennials but everyone. Retailers will establish these principles in their marketing and operational efforts in 2018, and mobile will be the medium. With digital on the rise, the coexistence between retailer and consumer is looking brighter than ever, creating hope for yet another new year.


Contact us, and get your digital marketing campaign started.


Author: Taylor Davis, Director of Content

and Product Development at IRIO