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Winning the hearts of consumers

By Retail Technology | Thursday December 13 2018

Retail brands need to engage with millennial and Gen Z consumers but how best to do this? Dating apps could be the key says Peter Foster from Match Media Group

Millennial and Gen Z consumers are hugely important to retail brands, and with an estimated purchasing power of $165 billion in the USA in 2018, it’s easy to see why.  For single people in these generations, they have unrivalled purchasing power with a high disposable income. 

To create an effective strategy for single millennial and Gen Z consumers, we must understand that online activity not only drives online sales, in fact, it massively influences physical store purchases as well. More specifically, the strategy needs to focus on the most important touchpoint for this group of consumers, and therefore needs to appeal to a mobile-first audience. 

Consumers in both generations, research products before, during, and after a purchase and are likely to share recommendations via a variety of platforms, including social channels and even on dating apps.
Personal touch

For retailers looking to promote their business, dating apps can offer a great platform to reach consumers who are already in the “discovery mindset,” when they are actively looking to engage with both other users and brands. In addition to this, single consumers rely on insight from their peers before making a decision on travel, restaurants, and even fashion.

Whether this is online or in-store, younger generations want recommendations that are personalised to them, based on previous interactions and preferences. In fact, 73% of millennials would seriously consider engaging with an ad aligned to their buying preferences. By creating a customer-centric experience - utilising user journey data, along with demographics such as age, gender, and location - retailers can deliver appropriate and contextually relevant advertising to this audience. 

One example of this is a recent project we created in partnership with Braun epilators. The content of the advertising was tailored to the audience by creating video content that compared the initial pain of using an epilator, with being uncomfortable on a first date. 

The content included playful and contextually relevant quotes including, “the first encounter can be a little painful, but it’s worth it” and “not as painful as seeing your ex pop up next.” 

An experience

For single consumers, they desire new experiences. In certain areas like travel, experiences are the main driver of purchasing but retailers can also benefit from taking an experience focussed approach, which will ultimately drive millennial and Gen Z consumers to make a purchase. 

The brands that resonate most with both millennial and Gen Z consumers are the ones that organically integrate with consumers lives, providing an experience instead of a one time purchase. 

An example of this is travel brand Delta, who worked with Tinder on a campaign last year. It created a selfie wall in Brooklyn, which allowed consumers to take photos in front of amazing backdrops to upload onto your dating profile. For Delta, this was a clever way of building an experience around the brand while getting the audience to engage with the campaign.

For brands that successfully build engaging experiences, it has the potential to transform one time purchasers into loyal consumers.

Be authentic 

90% of millennial and Gen Z consumers believe that authenticity is important when they are deciding which brands to purchase from. Authentic behaviour is what ultimately leads to long-term brand loyalty and needs to go much further than merely ensuring that marketing messages contain the right buzzwords. It is about building and maintaining trust with each individual consumer on a much more granular level.

Both Gen Z and millennial consumers want to purchase from honest, responsible brands that engage with them individually. For brands, this could involve building a relationship with each individual consumer, making them feel valued and important but also involves ensuring that the brand identity aligns with the wants and needs of the audience. 

Heavenly match 

The lesson for any retailer looking to engage with single Gen Z and millennial consumers is to use dating platforms, to have the opportunity to engage with consumers when they are in the discovery phase. By creating a personalised experience combining demographic and personal data, there is the opportunity to deliver advertising that aligned with their individual needs. But, the advertising needs to go beyond a clever use of data. 

Single Gen Z and millennial consumers want more than just personalisation. They want to engage with a brand that resonates with them, and by creating authentic experiences retail brands have the opportunity to succeed with a very lucrative market of consumers. 

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