I’ve figured out the secret to fulfilling the needs of Millennial shoppers. They are simply looking for something convenient, affordable, gourmet, unique, flavorful, healthy, and current. Ok, so not that simple. But there is a way to gauge these preferences and leverage them.
Let’s consider the trendy, hip, eateries millennials frequent and the kind of experience these eateries offer. Let’s take an edgy ramen house or a gourmet grill cheese spot. Both are simple, traditional and affordable concepts. Things I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of through college and even growing up as kids. My grandmother made what I thought was an amazing grilled cheese and all she used was white bread and Kraft singles.
Today, we are looking for those same concepts only we want them enhanced to fit the current “trends” we see on Instagram or other social outlets that include hashtags such as #foodie, #foodbaby, and #foodporn. So instead of using white bread and American cheese, we expect a house baked multi-grain with a three cheese blend of gouda, cheddar, and swiss, and to top it off we want some smoked bacon, sliced tomato, and fresh avocado. Let’s sub the traditional side of fries with a purple sweet potato wedge and a side of wasabi aioli.
Ok, now that you’re drooling let’s take something important from this:
1. Traditional premises are still appealing.
Today’s generations are just looking for a unique trendy twist on past delights. You don’t need to knock down your supermarket and start fresh, you simply just need to make adjustments. Open up your cheese selection, your meat selection, healthy choices, dim the fluorescent lights, create some savvy digital programs, and hire some educated, customer service oriented staff. It’s not about reinventing, it’s about enhancing. A kind of evolutionary process that grocers have arrogantly denied over the years. Millennial shoppers are unwilling to overlook these shopping blemishes like generations before them.
2. Rebrand your social presence, reputation and brand
Realize that the face of your brand is now seen through a Google, Facebook, or Instagram search. And this matters, a lot. Localize your shoppers digital experience, offer them exclusive deals, redefine the feel and direction of your establishment, and hire some young energetic savvy young people to freshen up your bland and inactive feeds.
3.What the supermarket industry needs is a makeover not reconstructive surgery.
A process that will have to take place slowly. It’ll be interesting to see which players take action and which players don’t and to evaluate the result of each of those player’s decision making. It's time to dress your retail locations to look as hip and trendy as us millennials believe we are... Grow a beard, get some tattoos, drink some craft beer, talk about how environmentally conscious you are, offer free single origin Coffee from Nicaragua to your loyal shoppers. Have fun, be of service, and make shoppers enjoy the experience of shopping your stores. I promise they'll reward you, with an ample supply of selfies, hashtags, shares, posts, and positive reviews. Come to think of it, offer free Wi-Fi, add a lounge with comfy couches, these millennials will never leave ;)