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Millennials Want a Retail Experience

Millennials and the generation group after them, Gen Z, make up nearly half of the U.S. population, which is good news for the retail sector, according to a recent Forbes article.

However, Forbes says that the economic environment that this group has grown to adulthood during makes them a unique retail consumers. According to Forbes, millennials lost out on tens of millions of job opportunities during the Great Recession, which delayed their careers. They also are choosing to get married older, and they have six times as much student loan debt as baby boomers. Forbes says because of these economic experiences, millennial shoppers think more critically about how they spend their money.

In this article, we discuss how independent home improvement retailers can attract this significant buying demographic.

  • Millennials like connecting—and shopping—online. This generation is the first to use the internet as a starting point to research and make their purchases. Independent hardware retailers can connect with these consumers through social media, maintaining a streamlined, mobile-friendly website or even developing a mobile app to deliver information about sales and new products. But millennials aren’t only concerned with buying online. The internet is a place where they meet new friends and make plans with old ones, so be sure to highly publicize your in-store events and the community events where your business will make a presence online to attract the millennial audience.
  • Millennials seek out retailers with a mission. “What’s ultimately driving millennials’ buying behavior is a personalized, authentic experience,” Forbes says. These shoppers don’t only want a one-click experience. According to Forbes, millennials value retailers that support specific causes and offer more than just retail. Independent home improvement retailers can capitalize on this shopping preference by developing a specific mission statement and by explaining how shopping local impacts the community. Hosting in-store demos, workshops and specific events are also experiences that may entice millennials to invest in DIY projects.

About Melanie Moul

Melanie Moul
Melanie is the managing editor for the North American Hardware and Paint Association. She has worked for the association since 2016. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and baking without recipes and watching online makeup tutorials. She and her husband are raising their son and two fur children in Indianapolis.

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