Millennials are the furniture industry’s biggest opportunity. They make up the largest living generation in America, over 83 million, and over half of new home buyers are millennials. Many are old enough (born after 1980) to have settled in a career and started a family. This is why every category in the furniture industry is expected to see solid growth over the next decade.
Millennial Marketing Strategy
However, millennials can be one of the most challenging age groups for furniture retailers to attract. They make less money than their parents did, which makes them more frugal than their parents, yet they aren’t necessarily looking for a bargain.
On average, they will shop between 2 and 4 retailers, taking about 2 to 3 weeks of research on big ticket items, like furniture, before they commit to a purchase. What exactly are they looking for? The following list details the 5 most important things that millennials are looking for in a furniture store. Incorporate these into your millennial marketing strategy to take your business to a new level.
1. Online Research
Millennials have grown up with technology. Most can’t remember a time without having internet access or even WiFi. They use the internet to perform their research. The key for retailers is knowing the platforms they choose.
Most are looking for online product reviews and 78% of them say that those reviews influence their decisions. They also look for recommendations on social media, especially Facebook or Pinterest, and business rating services such as Google. Retailers have to maintain a strong social media presence in order to capture their attention.
They also need to have a mobile friendly website, because 9 out of 10 of them own smartphones. It doesn’t need to be an ecommerce site, because 63% prefer to make in-store purchases. But it should have a large catalog of products and special promotions.
2. Tech Friendly Products
They love gadgets. Laptops, tablets or smartphones, it doesn’t matter. Many would have a hard time getting through a full day without one. Carrying products that cater to their technology, such as accents and organizers, are great add-ons to each sale. Most of them are still in apartments, so anything that can reduce clutter and provide more space will be exactly what they are looking for.
3. Modern Designs
They are looking for retailers that carry modern designs. New is in—antique is out. Traditional styles are not popular. Modern designs are more unique, which fits their personal style.
They also want the stores that they shop at to look modern. Digital signage and catalogs make it easier for them to see a wider range of colors and fabric choices.
4. Standalone Pieces
Millennials are moving back to the city in larger numbers, so they can be closer to the action. In these urban centers, their living spaces are smaller, more compact. Standalone pieces fit their budgets and give them some wiggle room to find superior quality furnishings.
5. Customer Service
They still want the experience of touching their purchases before buying them. They know competition is tight and are willing to take their business elsewhere if they get poor customer service. One bad experience can lead to lost sales, bad online reviews, and no recommendations.
Entry Level Buyers
Millennials are entry level buyers in the furniture industry. They also present the biggest opportunity for furniture retailers. Best of all, millennials are loyal to the brands they love, so the potential for them to become lifetime customers is something furniture retailers need to focus on in the coming years.