Millennials: Big Business For Outdoor Retailers
Outdoor retailers are courting millennials, and with good reason:
- Comprising 31% of the adult population in America and packing $2.45 trillion in purchasing power, millennials are a buying force to be reckoned with.
- In the past two years, millennials have accounted for 34% of home purchases, and an additional two-thirds of millennials expect to purchase a home within the next two years.
- According to a recent Furniture/Today survey, millennials see outdoor spaces as one of the top five most important features of a home.
So when it comes time to furnish their outdoor spaces, what can you do to make millennials more likely to buy from you?
WHAT MILLENNIALS LOOK FOR IN OUTDOOR RETAILERS
Millennials look for many of the same things in outdoor living retailers (and the products they ultimately buy) that they seek in other aspects of their lives:
- Authenticity—Millennials do not trust unsolicited, outbound forms of marketing. Instead, they want to feel a connection to your brand that goes beyond you trying to sell them a product.
- Simplicity—Make it easy for millennials to do business with you. In store, consider what appeals to the millennial design esthetic (e.g., natural light and a seamless feeling between indoor and outdoor spaces). Digitally, keep interfaces simple and efficient, like the technology they’ve grown up with.
- Environmental responsibility—Millennials are more cause-based in the products they seek to purchase than their older peers.
HOW MILLENNIALS BUY OUTDOOR LIVING PRODUCTS
Millennials are a generation raised on technology. It’s no surprise, then, that technology is a big factor in their buying habits. Take a look at this chart from Marketing Sherpa, which details millennials’ online buying behaviors.
CAPTURING THE MILLENNIAL BUYER
- Among the 50% who research products online before purchasing, chances are good that research is being done on a smartphone—so be sure your website is optimized for mobile (this goes back to the issue of simplicity discussed earlier). Don’t overlook the function of your ecommerce pages, in case they decide to make the leap from research to purchase.
- The social aspect of millennials’ shopping behavior is very important—they are not shy about sharing their opinions and preferences. Additionally, they look to their peers (online and in real life) for opinions, and often shop in groups. Building a presence and interacting with millennials on the social channels they use will help create the sense of authenticity they seek.
- The percentage of millennials shopping online for furniture (including outdoor décor) is higher than the overall figures cited in this chart—closer to 80%, as noted in our e-commerce post from June 2015. Making it easy to buy from you extends beyond your website to the social media channels you use. For example, Pinterest has introduced a “Buy it” button that allows for instant purchase of certain products. Instagram has developed similar buttons to facilitate shopping and other instant actions.