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Marketing to Millennials in the Age of Amazon
Stay on top of the latest e-commerce and marketplace trends.
Turns out, the most mocked generation of the 21st century also has the most purchasing power.
Call millennials what you will. According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. millennial population is projected to become the largest in 2019. While baby boomers are expected to decline to 72 million, millennials are expected to rise to 73 million. Just in 2017 alone, millennials were estimated to spend $200 billion and exceed that of baby boomers in 2018.
Like pretty much everyone else, millennials shop on Amazon; however, marketing to them for the e-commerce platform can require slightly more creativity and forethought than posting compelling product pictures or optimizing for keywords. In this post, we offer marketing tactics for appealing to millennials on Amazon. Rather than serve as an end-all, be-all guide, they are a starting point to help you develop your own fine-tuned marketing strategies.
Who Are Millennials as Consumers?
Your pricing, promotion, and distribution strategies will all have a sizeable impact on your Amazon growth. However, by knowing what millennials crave from brands or retailers and appreciate as consumers, you can significantly drive more revenue.
According to millennial marketing expert and president of FutureCast Jeff Fromm, there are six millennial mindsets that we recommend reading about here. There are also 11 major consumer themes that should inform your marketing. Although the mindsets focus more on brands, the themes focus more on cultural traits. In any case, the latter are extremely helpful for retailers, private labels, and brands. As you will see, they can guide everything from your business mission and product positioning to your content strategy, social media, and Amazon offerings.
11 Millennial Consumer Themes and Trends
The following 11 prominent themes in millennial consumer culture can also inform and guide your business both on and off of Amazon.
1. Live Your Brand Story
Purposeful or meaningful brands often have an edge when it comes to attracting millennial consumers; however, millennials can easily see through marketing hype and traditional branding. Brands will need to show proof they are living their story and mission.
2. Seeking Adventure
Millennials are always looking for an adventure, whether from new experiences or products and tend to share their excitement over social media. Millennials are willing to pay a premium for these experiences or products as well.
3. Culture of Content
Millennials consume content about your brand or business from third-party websites, social media, your website, and anywhere else. They are much more likely to believe content versus traditional ads.
4. Frictionless Journey
Millennials hate friction in the buyer journey. You want to make that journey as easy as possible when it comes to exploring products, reading content, purchasing, or sharing on social media afterward.
5. Pure Affirmation
Modern consumers regularly tap their network of friends and family before making purchasing decisions. Peers tend to substitute as experts.
Millennials tend to distrust large institutions, so they put a huge priority on brands that are transparent. Owning your mistakes as a brand can be an opportunity to show improvements.
7. Marrying Data
Not all of your customers are alike. Tomorrow’s brands will start appending customer data to social media data to ultimately find their most active, influential customers. Ultimately, modern consumers are happy to share data so long as you are improving their brand experience with it.
The big winners in today’s brands are hacking common customer pain points through disruptive or “blue ocean” innovations. Companies like Uber and Dollar Shave Club have become successful by attacking a major pain point.
The fastest way to discover these common pain points is empathy. Treat others the way they want to be treated.
10. Helpful and Collaborative
Modern consumers prefer to feel like they are in collaborative relationships with brands. To that end, brands should operate more as trusted advisors rather than gatekeepers. You want to offer helpful, personalized content for customers.
11. The Amazon Effect
Consumers’ expectations have changed in favor of constant innovation, constant improvements in speed, constant decreases in delivery costs, and the ability to choose what they want when they want it.
For a deeper dive into these personas and themes, watch Feedvisor’s webinar with Fromm here.
To optimize your marketing, you will ideally want to infuse your Amazon presence with these mindsets and themes. The following tactics provide food for thought.
1. Utilize EBC Content and Amazon Storefronts
Millennials want to know if you have a greater mission as a business and will hold you to it. Amazon Storefronts and Enhanced Brand Content serve as an excellent way to elaborate on your story and mission. Here, you can mention any charitable endeavors and deploy unique brand storytelling. You can also show how you fulfill your mission with updates via social media, your blog, or on YouTube.
2. Create Content Across Multiple Platforms
Millennials are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites, according to Marketing To Millennials: Reach the Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever. By creating blog posts on your own website, how-to videos on YouTube, and helpful social media posts on Facebook or LinkedIn, you can position your Amazon business more as a “trusted advisor” rather than an anonymous business. A thorough SEO search and customer reviews can suggest topics if you need ideas.
3. Optimize for Mobile
Millennials are avid smartphone users. According to the Pew Research Center, more than nine in ten millennials own a smartphone. Optimizing your Amazon product listings, website, social media, and any other content for mobile will resonate with the millennial desire for a frictionless buyer journey.
4. Leverage Influencers
Influencers are a less traditional form of advertising that tends to fall within a millennial’s “peer group” — and not all of them are expensive celebrities. Some are popular bloggers, reviewers, or social media personalities. Depending on your product category, they might be willing to cite your Amazon business or your products in their social media feeds.
5. Celebrate Customer Advocates
Amazon reviews alone can serve as a powerful piece of social proof to millennials. To amplify that proof, you can recognize positive reviewers and advocates on your website or social media accounts. You might even consider building out longer form pieces of content like videos or case studies.
Both the Early Reviewer Program and normal customer reviews offer opportunities for you to collaborate with customers. Here, you can explain how you will take the advice they give or follow-up later to show them how you did.
7. Encourage Social Media Shares
As we noted, millennials like to share photos and video of exciting new products or experiences on social media. Depending on the products you sell, you can recognize those who post photos with your products or hashtag, create social media contests based on posts, and more.
8. Innovate with Amazon’s Services
Millennials like products or services that are innovative. Remember the Amazon effect. Both Amazon’s dash button and subscription services can separate you from your competitors. Also, discounts can add up if you run a promotion on a product that is part of a “subscribe and save” box.
Amazon and millennials are two of the most powerful market forces in e-commerce today. In fact, according to Morgan Stanley, millennials have reached “the most important age range for economic activity.” As they grow older, this generation is expected to spend more on settling down in addition to going out.
Even if the idea of appealing to an entire generation is a bit simplistic, you can learn how to create more refined marketing strategies that marry your company’s mission and products to the particular slice of millennials who are your customers. The sooner that you can appeal to them on Amazon, the faster you can capture new revenue and grow.