Why (and How) Stores Should Work to Attract Millennials

Developing a payment and reward program for the millennial segment

Millennials are quickly becoming the largest socio-economic group in the United States. Soon their purchases will make up 30% of all retail sales.

millennial on phone

In addition, millennials are far more socially connected than earlier generations. They’re immersed in social media and highly dependent on mobile accessibility. They make decisions confidently and are fiercely loyal to their chosen brands, using their vast networks to become brand advocates.

While millennials’ loyalty may be considered hard to gain, their connectivity, brand advocacy and market share make them an attractive consumer segment to all retailers.

Debit is key to the millennial lifestyle

Millennials are highly debt-conscious. Faced with heavy student loan burdens, this generation has an aversion to borrowing and are not as comfortable with credit cards as previous generations. It’s estimated that 63% of millennials don’t even carry a credit card, preferring to spend only what’s available in their bank account. Millennials shop using cash or debit and will make purchases where they can easily use these forms of payment.

For these brand-conscious, cash-loyal consumers, private label debit is a perfect fit. Merchant-branded cards and mobile apps directly debit payments from consumer bank accounts using PIN-protected and fully encrypted data. The ease, convenience and security of private label debit makes it a preferred method of payment for this group of consumers. Target’s REDcard is a prime example of a branded debit card that’s readily adopted and widely used by millennial shoppers.

How to build brand value with private label debit

So, how do retailers go about building their brand’s value among millennials with a private label debit program? Millennials are looking for a simple, convenient shopping experience—but also a shopping experience that goes beyond the purchase to deliver rewards that recognize their individual preferences. That’s easier to do than retailers may think, especially with an integrated payments and rewards program.

A successful payment and rewards program should:

  1. Track savings and rewards: Highlight the value of the program by letting consumers know about immediate savings, savings to date, rewards earned and more. This reminds consumers of the value of program membership every time they shop.
  2. Create a unique, personal experience that includes choice: Customers expect shopping experiences to be tailored to their purchase preferences. “Surprise and delight” rewards can create a unique and memorable experiences, while allowing customers to choose which reward they’d like to redeem. In addition, millennials tend to “hoard” rewards, viewing them as earned currency to be used now or later. Programs that allow choice and flexibility while appealing to their sense of social connectivity by encouraging them to refer friends present a winning combination.
  3. Engage with meaningful images: High quality, appealing photos of products are a positive reflection on a brand. They encourage engagement and sharing, especially among millennials who care about and are critical of imagery. Including millennial consumers in promotional photography helps them identify with and feel more connected to a brand. Strong, attractive imagery, even of ordinary products such as coffee or snacks, will help set a brand apart.
  4. Instill confidence by conveying data security: A payment and rewards program needs to promise security at every touchpoint across the user experience. Consumers must feel confident about providing their bank information at enrollment. Once a consumer crosses the enrollment threshold and feels secure enough to sign up for the program, retailers reach a new and critical level of brand loyalty. They become a stickier consumer and a brand advocate.

    Amazon’s very convenient and simple one-click shopping experience is an example of this. Once consumers have signed on and provided payment information, they’re far more likely to shop Amazon first and regularly—particularly Amazon Prime members who pay an annual fee for perks that include a year of free shipping.

ZipLine’s uniquely engineered payment and reward programs provide all of the above. Enabling the merchant to engage with the millennial segment—and all consumers—through simple and positive shopping experiences that result in loyalty and brand advocacy.

Learn more about private label debit and find out how ZipLine can help your business attract the millennial segment.

This post is sponsored by ZipLine

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