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Millennial Purchasing Trends your Dropshipping Business Should Keep Up with in 2022

Val Kelmuts
10 minutes

It is not easy to keep up with purchasing trends across the ever-changing digital landscape when you are running a dropshipping business. However, as consumer buying habits shift, they create unique opportunities for brands and companies to leverage growth.

If dropshipping businesses could only follow a single trend for the next few years, they should track millennial purchasing trends. Millennials were born between 1982 and 1996. The oldest millennials just turned 40 now and they are at the peak of their careers, making them the ideal purchasing demographic.

Besides their growing buying power, their ability to influence trends even during technological and economic disruptions makes millennials a unique cohort.

This article explores the top ten millennial purchasing trends to help you as a dropshipping business owner to identify new opportunities for business growth and get actionable tips to leverage them.

Millennials love mobiles

Millennials are a natively digital generation, and it is safe to say that they love their smartphones. According to a survey by WhistleOut, millennials spend an average of 3.7 hours per day or 56 days each year on their phones.

So, what does that mean for your dropshipping business? It means that having a mobile-friendly website is no longer optional. Regardless of whether your dropshipping store is based on Shopify or WooCommerce, or another eCommerce platform, having a mobile-friendly version of your store is a must. In times of social distancing, contactless payment systems are rapidly becoming the norm for offline purchases. A joint survey by the Ingenico Group and FreedomPay found that 75% of millennials like making contactless payments.

Therefore, consider offering contactless payment options in your dropshipping store. Numerous eCommerce platforms now, such as Shopify, offer options such as Apple Pay and Amazon Pay to optimize the buying experience for millennials who are your potential buyers.

Millennials are hooked to social media

According to a 2018 report by eMarketer, 90.4% of millennials, in the US only, use social media daily. Therefore, we can say for sure that social media is one of the primary reasons millennials are hooked to their mobiles.

They use social media for virtually every need. They use it to engage with their friends, stay in touch with the latest news, discover new information, and make purchases. With the growing popularity of Instagram Shopping and the Facebook Marketplace, millennials now engage with their favorite brands through social media. They are more open with their communications and are not afraid to share their opinions, likes, and dislikes with their followers. This shift in online behavior has fueled the rise of influencers who prove vital to driving millennial buying decisions.

Therefore, as an owner of a dropshipping store, we recommend you consider building a social media presence to reach your audience more effectively. Apart from widely used social media like Facebook and Instagram, you also may resort to less popular sites such as Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, and TikTok. Indeed, the latter is gaining rapid popularity across the globe. To put it simply, dropshipping on TikTok is becoming more and more popular for targeting millennials through engaging videos. Especially, if you specialize in dropshipping clothing and accessories, TikTok and Instagram are great platforms for you to present the items that you are selling through videos, reels, and stories.

Millennials enjoy an omnichannel experience

As much as millennials love their smartphones and social media, they enjoy the flexibility of an omnichannel experience that allows them to buy at their convenience. Providing an omnichannel experience doesn’t only mean merging online and offline operations. When you own a dropshipping store, offering a consistent interaction between your customers and your channels is a must. Omnichannel means following your customers’ behavior and serving them what they need through any channel at any time, regardless of it being through your social media channels or email marketing.

In other words, you must consider implementing an omnichannel strategy for a seamless shopping experience. For example, when a potential buyer visits your store and adds a product to their cart but then leaves your store, what should you do? The effective omnichannel strategy here would be to send a kind reminder as an email for their cart abandonment and to retarget them through social media ads in order to make them return to the store and make the purchase.

Millennials want a good bargain

Millennials love to have options. Whether it is how they shop or from whom, they are constantly looking to get the best value for their money. And according to Gui Costin, author of Millennials Are Not Aliens, 66% of millennials would buy from a new brand when offered a discount of over 30%.

Although it might seem disheartening, he goes on to point out that 60% of millennials also indicated that they would remain loyal to a brand for a customer-centric experience. But more importantly, they are conscious of their buying habits and make value-oriented purchases.

Therefore, besides ensuring a high-quality customer experience, as a dropshipping store owner, you should consider offering discounts to entice millennial buyers to purchase from you. For example, it would be a smart move to align your sales strategy with your supplier’s so that you can offer discounts on products during certain holidays. Once they make a purchase, all you need to do is ensure you provide the best customer experience possible, and you will have a customer for life.

Millennials appreciate a good buying experience

Millennials are a self-aware generation. They know what they want, and they are willing to shop around for it. After the onset of the recent COVID-19 global pandemic, 75% of consumers surveyed by McKinsey & Company indicated that they had changed their shopping behavior.

Millennials are mindful of their purchases. When they are shopping, they are looking for more than a monetary transaction. They want an enjoyable shopping experience. For example, even when they are shopping for clothing or accessories, they are looking for a store that will offer them a good buying experience.

Taking this into consideration, you should shift your focus from making buyers spend money to providing them with the enjoyable experience they want. For example, you can improve the browsing experience on your website or make the way you interact with them more personalized so that millennials can feel that they are connected to a larger cultural trend.

Millennials like being loyal to brands

Millennials might seem selective, but once they have found a brand they like, they can be loyal to a fault. Besides discounts and a user-friendly shopping experience, millennials love participating in loyalty programs. According to the How to Engage Customers Across Every Generation research report by the Oracle Corporation, 70% of millennials surveyed indicated that they would switch brands for a loyalty program and pay a premium for perks.

The same report also found that 77% of millennials redeem rewards at least once every three months. So, if your dropshipping business is not offering a loyalty program to your customers, you should consider incorporating one now. Even a simple free shipping program can help inspire loyalty and decrease customer churn tremendously.

Additionally, and this is crucial for dropshippers that are selling luxury branded products, you should put an accent on the brands that you are selling as millennials have confidence in quality, and branded products will always catch their attention more than mediocre products sourced from unverified dropshipping suppliers.

Millennials despise traditional ads

When surveyed by The McCarthy Group, 84% of millennials indicated that they disliked advertisements. Further, between 32 and 33 percent also stated that they found advertising and salespeople untrustworthy.

But here is the interesting part. When asked to rate their friends’ trustworthiness on a scale of 1 to 5, 42.1% rated their friends as 5, and 32.5% rated them as 4. This means that millennials trust their friends and peers over traditional ads and salespeople.

So, the answer for dropshipping store owners for promoting their products to millennials without coming across as pushy is using user-generated content and social media. Incentivizing customers to post their shopping experiences on social media is the best way to reach other millennials in a way that aligns with their preferences. Moreover, you should invest time in creating a blog to complement your dropshipping store where you will publish your customers’ success stories. This will not go unnoticed by your potential shoppers and will most likely increase your conversion rate.

Millennials have an eye for quality content

Millennials love quality content. And according to Forbes, only 1% of millennials surveyed indicated that ads helped them trust brands more. They can spot fluff a mile away and despise shady marketing tactics. They trust people over businesses every day of the week.

Compared to previous generations, millennials value authenticity more and rely heavily on online content to form opinions. Although this presents a challenge for traditional marketers, it has created a booming industry of influencers and bloggers that millennials trust and follow conscientiously.

You, as a dropship store owner, can leverage this trend by investing in content marketing. Additionally, you can consider investing in influencer marketing to promote products to relevant audiences.

Millennials are socially responsible

As a generation that has experienced global pandemics and significant economic disruptions, millennials are incredibly conscious of the greater good. More importantly, they expect the same of businesses and corporations.

A 2015 study by Cone Communications, found that nine out of ten millennials would willingly switch to a socially responsible brand associated with a cause. Further, they also found that 62% of millennials were willing to take a pay cut to work with a socially responsible business.

Over the past year, there has been a sharp uptick in consumers supporting local communities and buying from socially conscious businesses. Besides implementing a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, dropshipping business owners should ensure they convey efforts made by their brand through social media. Millennials don’t want to buy from brands that are only in it for profit. They want their purchases to support businesses that contribute to the betterment of society.

If you want your dropshipping store to stand out, try connecting or partnering up with socially responsible businesses and donate X% from every purchase made through your store to a certain cause. This way, your customers will have the opportunity to shop for their favorite products and be socially responsible at the same time.

Millennials find personalization appealing

Gone are the days of the old one-size-fits-all approach. When you are targeting millennials, the name of the game is personalization. An online survey by Epsilon Data Management found that 80% of consumers indicated a willingness to transact with a business offering a personalized experience.

Moreover, 90% of those surveyed indicated that they found personalization appealing. Personalization translates differently across mediums and channels. It can be anything from offering tailored discounts and promotional coupons to sending personalized emails.

As an owner of a dropshipping store, you can take advantage of personalization and award your most loyal buyers with a coupon or a discount for a brand that they purchase frequently. No matter the approach, it is clear that providing millennials with personalization is a great way to increase dropshipping sales.

In a nutshell

Opinionated, informed, and loyal, millennials are a force to be reckoned with. They know what they want, and they are vocal about it. We hope our list of millennial purchasing trends will help you and all dropshipping business owners out there to identify growth opportunities and strategies to leverage them.

The growth of millennials over the next few years will play a significant role in shaping the future of online commerce. Therefore, dropshipping suppliers should try to keep up with the latest trends to identify shifts in buying habits and adapt to them successfully.

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About the Author

Val Kelmuts

Val is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder at <a href="https://staylime.com/">Staylime</a>, a Magento design, and development company headquartered in Redwood City, California. He is passionate about eCommerce and Magento in particular. Val believes that personal relationships and dedication to work drive the success of joint endeavors.

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