Millennials are a very diverse generation, but they do share one identical trait: they prioritize convenience. What does this mean? It means that in order to attract Millennial customers, you must make it easy for them to buy from you. Convenience is important for all generations, but it is particularly important for Millennials because where other customers may be patient or more willing to go out of their way due to loyalty, Millennials are more likely to take their business elsewhere.
Tips for adding convenience to your business model:
Location, location, location. This is business advice which is pretty basic. Your customers must be able to find you! If your location is off the beaten path, there are still ways to make it convenient. Namely, make sure GPS systems accurately lead people to your site. Add your business to Google Maps, which enables people to get directions to your business by just searching your name, even if they don’t know your exact address.
Credit Card purchases. You can’t be a cash-only business if you want young customers. If you don’t want to buy a fancy credit card reader, purchase Square, Inc., an economical credit-card reader which can hook into your laptop, tablet or smart phone. Like all card readers, Square does take a percentage of each transaction, but my organization has found the increased business it brings more than makes up for the lost cut. If you have to raise your prices to accommodate, it may be worth the change. Most customers won’t notice a slight cost increase in your product but they will notice the convenience of being able to use cards.
Renewable orders/subscriptions. Millennials hate having to remembering things. That’s why the new popular place to buy baby diapers is I’m not kidding — Amazon will send their Prime members regular, timed orders of their preferred diaper brands so Millennial parents don’t ever accidentally run out and have a rush-to-the-store emergency. We’ve seen the vegetable industry have much success with this concept, as many CSAs now offer regular, delivered produce to customers’ home or place of business. Regular deliveries may not work for every industry, depending on the product you sell, but think creatively about how you can make some of your merchandise available for regular purchase. If people are regularly buying a product, they are paying you significantly more than a one-time or occasional purchase, so it is worth the extra effort to come up with a way to make this work for you.
Be easy to reach. Whether via email, social media or even telephone, have a timely response rate when customers reach out. Nothing is more frustrating than leaving a message on a business’ answering machine, then never hearing back. Your customer is not responsible for reminding you to engage them; they shouldn’t need to call back and remind you they need assistance.
Make your website user-friendly. When people go online to learn more about you, it is important for that educational process to be straightforward and convenient, too. Be concise and to-the-point with your descriptions and business model explanation. Use attractive images. Millennials are not going to wade through pages and pages of documents trying to figure out if your business sells what they are looking for.
Our chaotic world is constantly vying for people’s attention, which leaves everyone with less time and patience to give. Millennials have only known this hectic world and they expect to be given the tools needed to manage it. They are at the point of life most consumed by busyness, with early careers, young families and educational pursuits consuming them. In order to get their business, you must give them the ability to conveniently fit you into their tight schedule.
Emily Enger is a Millennial farm kid turned farm journalist. She also works in marketing, serving as communications director for a nonprofit that covers nine rural counties in northern Minnesota. These opinions are her own and should not take the place of legal or professional advice. To comment or pitch future topics, email her at . For reprint permission, email editor Joan Kark-Wren at .