Think millennial shoppers don’t matter? Think again. Those currently ages 19 to 33 now amount to 75.4 million people, surpassing the number of living baby boomers, according to population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau in April 2016.
As e-commerce-loving consumers, the group has caused a major shift in shopping patterns traditionally set by their parents and grandparents. Here’s how to make some adjustments to your grocery store to attract and keep younger customers.
Understand What Millennials Value
In the realm of grocery shopping and food management, immediate consumption is no longer relegated to snacks or restaurants. According to research by the Food Marketing Institute, more than a quarter of daily meals consumed by 20-somethings include items purchased earlier that day. While millennial shoppers plan less than their older counterparts, they still plan. And their decision to buy a product or shop at a particular grocery store is influenced by the traits the generation is most well-known for. The best way to appeal to this market is to first understand it.
- Crave authentic, personalized experiences
- Demand self-serve solutions
- Care about company values
- Prefer experiential retail environments over transactional ones
- Expect and embrace technology
Decisions made about grocery shopping aren’t limited to the goods they take home. Yes, they care about natural, affordable, fresh food options — but they also care about the store’s contribution (a brand their values align with), convenience and overall experience.
Improve the Shopping Environment
Do what you can to make shopping an experience. For example, Kroger recently brought back its Taste of Italy nationwide event where customers can sample authentic foods and “eat like an Italian” at the grocery chain. Doing something similar, like celebrating holidays or embracing a theme, can create a retail environment that’s more experiential than transactional.