Avinash Nair
October 30, 2018

3 Things Every eCommerce Brand Should Know About Millennials

Millennials and eCommerce

The Millennial generation is on track to become one of the biggest and most important customer segments for online commerce. Not only are they far more comfortable with using technology to make purchases, but they are also a widely diverse group that is going to soon outnumber Baby Boomers. This will make Millennials arguably the most powerful generation of buyers in history.

As eCommerce brands struggle to compete with online retail giants like Amazon, they must find ways to attract young consumers to their sites. Sadly, many businesses make the huge (and embarrassing) mistake of trying too hard to rebrand themselves to attract younger shoppers.


The good news is that this is not totally necessary to attract Millennials. Instead, the best strategy is to understand what motivates this generation to purchase from your site instead of your competitors.

Here are three key things that every single eCommerce business owner needs to know if they intend to sell to Millennials.

1. Price Points are a Top Motivator

Although it may seem like a silly stereotype, the Millennial generation is certainly defined by their spending. Price is naturally a concern for every consumer. However, since Millennials are younger, and in many cases, struggling to find financial stability, price is going to be a higher priority when they choose what to buy.

According to a study from IRI, Millennials are the most price sensitive generation. They will switch brands frequently if there is a significant difference. Of course, it’s not possible to completely undercut all of your competitors for every single item you sell. However, you can create a perception of a good deal that could motivate this younger generation to make a purchase.


Since Millennials are so cost conscious, offering them discount codes and coupons is a good way to lock them in for a sale. In fact, 69% of Millennial shoppers search for online promotion codes and discounts for every single purchase they make. Your site can also create an impression that they are getting the best deal from your company specifically by including bonuses that they may not get from your competitors. Include a free sample if possible – or a special gift. Offer more shipping options to lower the cost. Or consider providing discounts for students or military shoppers.

2. Social Media Influences Their Purchases

Obviously, Millennials are quite familiar with social media. Therefore, many online brands understand the need to connect with their customers through these platforms. However, Millennials don’t just use social media sites to follow brands they like. According to a study from UPS, 49% of Millennial shoppers agree that social media itself influences their purchases. Furthermore, 32% have bought something directly through a social media site.

Selling on social media can be tricky because an overly promotional brand page can turn consumers off immediately. But there are some smart ways to market your products specifically to Millennials in a way that causes them to convert.

First of all, you will need to understand their intent when they interact with your brand’s social sites. About half of shoppers are merely looking for inspiration – especially on highly visual sites like Pinterest or Instagram. About 40% will click through to the website for a purchase and 26% want the ability to buy directly from a social media link.


Be sure that your social media strategy fulfills all of these scenarios with a mix of content and experiences. Many Millennials follow influencers and are likely to purchase items that are recommended by these trusted accounts. So, partnering with micro-influencers who connect with your niche’s Millennial segment is a smart way to boost brand recognition and conversions.

Make sure that the purchasing process is as easy as possible from a social media post to keep your conversion numbers high. On sites like Facebook and Kik, a sales chatbot can be quite useful. While platforms like Instagram and Pinterest now allow you to embed links directly into your post so that a purchase is merely a click away.

3. They Want to Feel a Connection

The Millennial generation is not known for its brand loyalty. As mentioned before, they are more than willing to switch to another business if it offers them a better deal. However, many younger consumers are highly concerned with the perception that a brand creates. Furthermore, the Millennial generation believes that companies have the responsibility to make a positive difference with their influence. This particular consumer group is actually more likely to buy from businesses that stand for something.

According to a report from Shelton Group, 64% of shoppers agree that a brand’s stance on various issues influences their decision to purchase from them.

Some of the top issues that matter the most to Millennials are related to:

  • Social issues
  • Sustainability
  • Making a positive impact on the community.

These create a strong emotional connection that makes them feel their purchase is making the world a better place. In fact, consumers are even willing to pay more if they feel that their purchase supported a good cause.


Donating a percentage of your profits to a charity organization or adopting certain practices to encourage sustainability are great options for eCommerce brands that want to market to the Millennial consumer group. However, what truly matters here is the messaging that works to create an emotional connection. This is done through brand storytelling. Your business must create a story that communicates what it stands for and how that customer’s purchase or support will make a difference.


The Millennial generation is an important one for eCommerce brands to attract – though doing so is no easy task. Just like every consumer group, you must understand their motivations and preferences if you are going to sell to them. Make no assumptions about what your Millennial customers want; instead, look at the facts, find ways to build meaningful connections, and delight them with the kinds of shopping experiences they desire.

Over To You

Do you keep one eye on a specific segment of your potential customer base? What do you do to specifically target that group? Please let us know in the comments section, below. Thanks!


You may also want to read: What B2B Marketers Need To Know About Millennials

Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_stevanovicigor‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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Avinash Nair

Avinash Nair is a digital marketer at E2M, India's premium content marketing agency. He specializes in SEO and Content Marketing activities.