Targeting Millennials through Mobile Strategies: Retail Industry Insights

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Targeting Millennials through Mobile Strategies: Retail Industry Insights


Millennials have officially overthrown Baby Boomers as the largest living generation (U.S. Census); this leaves retailers with the opportunity to grab the attention of a large and influential group of buyers.

In partnership with Northwestern University, Performics created a research unit called the Intent Lab, where the Digital Satisfaction Index™ (DSI) was formed. This report helped us to understand what’s important to millennials.

What we found is that retailers would benefit most by focusing on the following three factors while also catering to mobile: (1) Personalization, (2) Trust and (3) Social.


Personalization is critical, particularly for retail. Consumers are constantly checking their phones and conducting searches while out shopping, eager to know whether they’re getting the best deal, if there’s another retailer with a better product, etc. In fact, millennials actively seek deals when shopping, more than any other age group (DSI™).

And millennials are digital natives, which means they are the demographic most likely to embrace content that’s being fed to them, encouraging them to discover new and relevant products during their purchasing journey. Because of this, marketers should utilize targeting tactics by:

  • Gathering data: Within the retail industry, millennials are fairly comfortable with online data collection (DSI™). Retailers should take advantage of this opportunity to better understand millennials.
  • Creating RLSA ads: RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) can highly increase customization for mobile consumers. By building relevant lists for more customized ads, retailers can retarget millennials who previously browsed their website. One of our clients leveraged this method, tailoring mobile content to match data, and noticed a 45% increase in online leads.
  • Utilizing Geo-targeted ads: Retailers should provide millennials with ads while they’re shopping. If a user is looking online for shoe stores near his/her location, a retailer that has a location nearby can target that user with promotions and personalized messaging, inviting the user to shop at a location that’s convenient for them and that is offering deals – something that millennials often look for more than any other age group (DSI™).


64% of millennials are skeptical about anything they read online and don’t usually trust online retail information (DSI™). Because this demographic has a hard time finding online information credible, retailers need to create engaging content and utilize unique marketing strategies to help millennials build that necessary trust.

Brands need to speak consumers’ language to gain trust – they need to understand what the consumer is looking for and what type of content they need in order to continue down the purchasing path. Additionally, retailers should understand what content not to display; irrelevant messaging will only stifle the consumer’s journey, slowing the user down with information they don’t need. Because of this, retailers need to position themselves as “go-to” solutions for consumers. What better way to do this than by offering discounts and rewards by shopping through a mobile device? Or by encouraging online sharing of branded content? Or even by ensuring the optimization of mobile content, for a seamless user experience?

One of our large retail clients that primarily serves the Gen X demographic, sought to engage millennials. To do this, Performics executed and planned a multichannel media strategy for the client, utilizing Paid Media, Paid Social and video strategies to drive conversions. Because the client created a campaign that spoke to millennials, engaging them with new ideas and content that sparked their interest, our client noticed high ROI and conversion rates.


Retailers need to have a clear cut social presence, mainly because five out of six millennials connect with brands through social media (SDL).

Millennials use social so frequently that it has become one of their main sources for information. This is where they go to get quick facts and information about everything, from news to shopping to reviews.

Giving millennials the choice to view content whenever they want is crucial. This strategy will bring retailers closer to millennials during their purchasing journey, as consumers want to stay in the loop while still leading their offline life.

In one instance, a large retail client was hoping to garner more sales and impressions from millennials. To do this, Performics created a campaign that promoted a specific event while generating awareness and buzz through Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram. Millennials were encouraged to share and submit content via social channels to drive engagement and buzz around the event and the client’s products. Altogether, the initiatives drove over $12 million in revenue. Using social isn’t just hashing out information to consumers, but rather engaging millennials by including them in campaigns and encouraging them to share what resonates with them.

As millennials are becoming more influential in the marketplace, retailers are faced with the opportunity to learn about millennials’ online perceptions while creating and maintaining meaningful connections and generating brand loyalty.

To learn more about targeting millennials through mobile, contact Performics today.

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