Millennials are the Next Target Group for Small Businesses

Small Business Saturday

For a generation that makes up more than a quarter of the US population, millennials are too large and significant a demographic to not be the focal center of a typical marketing or business strategy. Consequently, Small business Saturday, a major event for small businesses across the United States, has become even more relevant in the era of online shopping, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, and millennials are the new target.

What makes millennials such an important target group for small businesses?

Unlike baby boomers, millennials exhibit important characteristics that make them appealing to small businesses:

1) Highly personalized and customized products

Millennials like to feel that the products they use are designed just for them. Unlike online stores that focus on mass culture, small businesses are known to add individual elements to every product they create. Also, for a generation that prefers to be more casual, whether in terms of clothing, choice of language, or food, small companies offer a much-desired ambiance of carefree comfort without the pressure of having to make an actual purchase.

2) Desire to give back and shop local

Thankfully, the desire to give back to society is especially strong among millennials, who wish to help local communities and establishments flourish. Keeping this ethos in mind, most of them prefer shopping local – from local farms, the arts community, flea markets, etc. Herein, small businesses have a decisive advantage. The trademark of most small businesses is the local element in the form of packaging, raw materials, and location.

3) Trust and loyalty

In this aspect, millennials are just like any other consumer demographic. They prefer connecting with businesses that they can trust and be loyal to, rather than jumping from one storefront to another. Small businesses can easily capitalize on this trust by building contacts and winning loyalty through highly customized products at competitive prices.

How can you hook the millennials?

One major reason why most small businesses fail to make an impact is that they do not conduct the required research to keep their clients interested in their products. According to our market analysts, small businesses must invest in the following to better attract the millennial crowd:

1) Have a strong online presence

The best way to draw attention from a generation that spends approximately 7 hours a day on social media, is by being active where they are already present. This can be done by featuring on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, as millennials spend the majority of their internet time there. Especially, for small businesses that specialize in providing customized products and services, Instagram is an excellent platform for reaching the right audience and making a visual impact.

2) In-store free wi-fi

Free wi-fi is something that everyone appreciates, especially the millennials. Small Business Saturday provides the right platform to launch a loyalty rewards program that customers can enroll in using free wi-fi.

Surveys have found that millennials are quite fond of loyalty programs and prefer being associated with brands that offer exclusive discounts and rewards for being a loyal shopper.  All these will cost you a lot of money, but spending results in solid returns in no time. The good thing is consumers can tackle their financial needs in several ways, for example obtaining a small business funding for covering expenses.


3) Cross-promotion and extended business hours

Extending business hours over the weekend increases customer traffic opportunity. It is also possibly one of the best ways to get the attention of millennials by letting them know that you are going out of your way to offer additional shopping hours.

Cross-promotion is another effective way to connect with millennials. Collaborating with and promoting complementary businesses is an opportunity to bring additional value and show the target audience that you truly understand their wants and needs.

In summation- Small Business Saturday has created immense potential for small businesses in the United States. More than 50% of all sales in the U.S. happen at small storefronts. And, knowing that millennials are primarily responsible for this makes them all the more important as consumers. All it takes is strategy and an affinity for change.