Marketing to Millennials
I stopped by a retail garden center recently while I was visiting New York. The owner was excited to see Millennials interested and involved in the industry. It got me thinking about the industry and how Millennials and the generations to follow are the future of our businesses.
Though I do not claim the title proudly, I wanted to share some insight into my generation- AKA your biggest customer base. Understanding your customer base and the world they live in will help you make more sales.
What Are Millennials Looking For?
First, let’s discuss what we’re looking for, and what we care about.
1) Trendy Plants
I was excited to see that the retail shop in New York had succulents and air plants. I’m sure you’ve all noticed that Succulents have been on trend for years now and houseplants have started booming as well! When you offer the plants that customers are looking for, they’ll have a reason to come into your shop and browse what else you’re offering.
2) Life Improving Plants
Millennials are motivated by quality of life. We are searching for happiness in the truest sense. Because of this, we get excited about plants that improve our quality of life. Air purifying plants are at the top of our list, especially for those of us who have pets or suffer from allergies. Herb gardens are big as well because organic is healthier.
3) Natural Products
A big seller for this generation is organic plants. Millennials are looking to grow their own crops of herbs and vegetables when possible to save money and truly trust where their food is coming from. But understand that we’re likely growing these crops in apartments or small houses. Offering an interesting or easy way to grow in those conditions could draw customers to your business.
Our generation is run ragged with debt, so we’re always looking for a good deal. Coupons, membership discounts, rewards cards, other similar programs, or just a great price to begin with are what we look for.
5) The Story Behind the Company
We like to know where our products come from. It’s true that big box stores are taking lots of business away from small family-owned retail shops. But we’re not looking to just shop at corporate businesses. Provide something different than what your corporate competitors can, and show Millennials how you’re different.
How can you market to Millennials?
1) Internet Presence
This means a presence on social media, a great website, and online reviews. A great way to get the word out about your business, what you have to offer, and what’s on sale is the internet. That’s where we’re finding most, if not all, of our information because it is so easily accessible at our fingertips. Having a clear online presence will set you ahead of the competition. Sure Home Depot is well known, but when they see your company of real people that they can get to know, you’ll stand above the big box stores. So be present on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
2) Coupons, Sales, Memberships, Subscriptions
I mentioned before that Millennials are always looking for a good deal. Offer clearance items, sales, and coupons often- but not too often. There’s a great balance somewhere where your customers will get excited about your sales, but still purchase your items at full price when there isn’t a sale. You could also consider offering memberships, subscriptions, or punch cards that include discounts for each purchase or after so many punches.
3) Physical In-Shop Marketing
A great time to market is when your customers are standing in your shop. Ways to do this include a clear, thoughtful layout of your store that doesn’t feel crowded or cluttered. You want people to feel welcome in your store, and even more than that, you want them to feel comfortable there. If they enjoy being in your shop, the chances are higher for them to return time and time again, likely with friends.
–Signs and Information
Another opportunity that you have to market to your customers while they are in your store is with carefully considered and helpful signage. Are you selling plants that naturally purify the air? Have a sign that alerts customers to this! Include fun facts about the plants that you have to offer. Print recipes and paste them to the side of the herbs that you have to offer, but remember to have a display sign pointing to the recipe that’s included.
Giving your customers tips that lead to their success with the plants your providing will make them more likely to buy more plants. When they fall in love with the process of caring for a plant and growing something successfully, they will look for more opportunities to further this hobby.
–Point of Purchase Display
This is so important! When your customers are ready to make their purchase, the sale is not over. This is where you want to have little items such as candy, accessories, or plants in small pots. The aesthetic appeal and low price will make these items irresistible. Your customers are already in the mindset of spending money- put something irresistible right in front of them at that point and they’ll likely take advantage of it.
The ideas above will help you establish return customers, but if you’re still looking for more ideas to get Millennials in the door, try these out of the box ideas.
Host a Plant Potting Party
Surely you’ve seen those gatherings where guests drink wine while they paint along with an instructor. Why not do a fun plant version of that?
Turn a Corner of Your Store Into a Coffee Shop/Reading Nook
Having a coffee shop/reading nook is just another way to stand out from your competition while making money by providing a product that your customers desire. I mean it’s a win-win really!
Your possibilities are endless!
For more ideas see our Pinterest board.