The Millennial Customer – How well do you know them?

Millennials, also called Generation Y, are those born from 1982 to 2000 and comprise a quarter of the country’s population.  The Millennials are more and more important to C-Stores as this group increasingly prefers the C-Store over grocery stores and restaurants. Gas stations are the new grocery store! By the year 2020, Millennials will make up the majority of the workforce, correlating to over $220 billion in buying power!

In order to attract the Millennials, we must first understand them.  After all, they are unlike any generation preceding them.

Millennials tend to be:

  • well-educated
  • ethnically diverse
  • budget-conscious (value is the most important quality to the millennial)
  • preferential to customized food and beverage options that they can receive instantaneously
  • tech savvy, primarily at a MOBILE level (the most downloaded app for a millennial is a discount app)
  • easy-going and mindful of time 

Millennials are also drawn to things that have a mission…a purpose.  What can millennials say about doing business with you that they can also say about themselves? Millennials themselves are becoming the media.  And where this group is going, the world is following.  Millennials tend to be very vocal, especially when it comes to sharing information. When it comes to dealing with your business, they are more likely to divulge positive experiences.  On the flip side, millennials are also empowered to share negative experiences with peers online. 

76% of the entire population is using a smartphone.  The millennial generation is also the mobile phone generation.  The majority of millennials do not know a life without a smartphone.  It serves as a vital tool for socializing, working, and shopping.

The interest in mobile phones is something that you, as a business owner, should take notice of.  Implementing mobile-friendly options on-site will turn visiting millennials into repeat customers.  A mobile app offering a loyalty program and special offers goes a long way in reaching the millennial customer. (Stay tuned for a special announcement about the NEW Liberty App!)

Trends come and go, but there are some constants that should be kept in mind when working with this increasingly influential group. 

Get Real and Stay Transparent – Being authentic and truthful has a strong pull with millennials.

Remember that the new routine for millennials is the lack of a routine.  They want what they want when they want it!  Frequent snack times are replacing set meal times.  Living in a world of one-click satisfaction, millennials are looking for healthier snacking options, with quick, made-to-order options readily available.

The Culture Impact – Diversity levels of the millennial generation are about 45% (including Hispanic, Asian, and African American).  Recognize this diversity without singling anyone out.  And then give them something to talk about!

Reaching Millennials – With 375 million Twitter users and Facebook being the primary way to target millennials, keep up with the latest trends and technology.

Millennials, the hashtag generation, are more loyal than their job-hopping stereotype.  Think differently when looking at your millennial customer.  There is much more to learn and understand about this group, but hopefully these basics will help you to do just that!