There is no doubt that the ecommerce marketing landscape is growing every day. Each generation plays a role in this growth, from Boomers, all the way to Millennials. It can be hard for e-tailers to keep up with each generation, especially as new generations and shopping markets appear every few decades.
One of the best-known groups is Millennials, also known as Generation Y. Generation Y forms part of the largest demographic since Baby Boomers. Generation Ys are born between 1981 and 1997. When it comes to online shopping, Generation Y is one of the leading markets, with a large number of ecommerce marketing strategies designed to attract this market.
Despite the fact that Generation X shoppers typically have more purchasing power compared to any other generation, Generation Y shoppers have the advantage of being a large market, as well as being a market that was born into the digital era. As such, this market has adapted to online shopping as well as social media, mobile marketing, and other strategies that centre around the growth of the digital space.
Ecommerce Marketing to Reach Generation Y
Now that you have a better idea of Generation Y, how do you about planning your ecommerce marketing strategies to reach this audience? Keep reading to find out which strategies are most effective for this group.
Just like every other generation, you want to plan tailored ecommerce marketing strategies that target this group specifically. Catch-all strategies that try and please everyone, hoping for the best, will seldom have the same impact as strategies designed to reach your target audience. Some of the most effective ecommerce marketing strategies that you could consider include the following
1. Do your audience research properly
It is worth noting even before you begin planning your strategies that the sheer size of this group along with the fact that some are born just after the turn of the 1980s, others are both just before the turn of the new century. What this means is that there are very different sub-groups within this large generation. To differentiate between the two, it is very useful to see this generation as Generation Y.1 and Generation Y.2.
Generation Y.1 is the older generation, born closer to the 80s than the 2000s. This sub-segment of the market is typically more established, a lot closer to Generation X than Generation Z. Many have families and careers, and many have very different needs and challenges compared to the younger sub-segment. Generation Y.2 was born towards the end of the 90s. This group comprises younger, less settled shoppers who may be technologically savvy but may not have the same level of stability as their older counterparts. Strategies for each market would, therefore, depend on which group falls within your target audience. Treating both sub-groups the same would end up missing your target where both groups are concerned.
2. Focus on building loyalty
Of all the generations, Millennials or Generation Ys are the least loyal to brands. This could be due to being born in an era of extensive choices. It could be down to following trends and trying new things. Whatever the case, loyalty is something you will have to earn rather than expect as a given. This means putting a focus on your loyalty strategies in a way that is organic, authentic, and interesting. Don’t waste your time with tired loyalty programmes that are much the same as any other ecommerce brand. Instead, plan fun campaigns that generate interest and keep shoppers coming back for more.
Gamification can be an especially useful tool – especially when combined with rewards that go beyond points. Multi-tiered loyalty programmes that include different levels and different rewards are far more effective than predictable programmes that add little to no value. Over and beyond loyalty programmes, it is also good to focus on growing your brand and your reputation to encourage better engagement and loyalty. When you can ‘speak’ to shoppers in this audience (preferably in their language), you have a far better chance of encouraging them back to your store.
3. Skip the traditional marketing channels
You don’t want to waste time and effort on old-school channels, so pack away those printed fliers and forget about cold-calling. The very nature of ecommerce means that online is king. To that end, you want to focus on digital campaigns that make use of smooth, innovative, streamlined experiences across a variety of channels. Integrated mobile, SEO, social media, email marketing, and lead nurturing campaigns will be your best bet, especially if they provide shoppers with the ability to easily switch between channels.
Smart brands plan campaigns that make use of automation and other tools, further helping to provide a seamless experience. Personalisation is always a good way to improve user experience. Influencer marketing remains a highly powerful tool for this generation, with micro-influencers being the most effective of all. Used alongside smart mobile campaigns, clever apps, video campaigns, gamified social media campaigns, and other strategies that get shoppers involved, this will allow you to prevent boredom and stay ahead of the competition.
4. Harness the power of user-generated content
The reason that micro-influencer marketing is effective for Generation Y shoppers is the fact that this generation likes to do a bit of research. What this means is that user-generated content can be an excellent tool. This can include reviews as well as testimonials (if done carefully and authentically), customer blog posts, comments on social media, and any other type of input from customers who have purchased similar products.
There are a few ways that you can harness user-generated content. One way is to include review options for every product. Reviews are the best way to show transparency and build trust. Products with reviews will have a far better conversion rate compared to those without reviews. Allow customers to rate your products and leave feedback. If you receive less than glowing reviews, do not remove the review. Instead, respond calmly and quickly to provide a solution. The other way to use user-generated content is to encourage discussion on your social media and blog posts and be active within your community. Responding to comments and joining in discussions shows potential customers that you are actively involved with your store and not just an impersonal brand with no ability to communicate.
Authentic Ecommerce Marketing With Generation Y
Rather than treating audiences as one homogenous group, it is always a good idea to remember that each generation has its own audience, approach, and strategy. When you stop to carefully consider your target group, it will become far easier to plan conversion-driven ecommerce marketing campaigns that reach Generation Y in a way that encourages sales.