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Capturing the Attention of Millennial and Gen Z Shoppers

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To capture the attention of Millennial and Gen Z shoppers, independent retailers should focus on private brands, align with lifestyle needs, emphasize flavor innovation, and embrace technology and social media engagement for a seamless omnichannel experience.

The grocery shopping landscape has evolved, with Millennials and Gen Z shoppers showing a preference for mass retailers rather than traditional supermarkets. As these younger generations now make up a significant portion of US shoppers, independent retail store owners need to understand their unique preferences and adapt their strategies to capture their attention and boost sales.

1. Embrace Private Brands:
Private brands play a crucial role in differentiating independent retailers from their competitors. With as high as 98% of national brands overlapping across retail banners, having a high-quality and robust private brand program becomes essential. According to research, 46% of Gen Z and 43% of Millennial shoppers believe private brands excel in offering new and innovative products. By leveraging innovation through a strong private brand portfolio, retailers can capture the loyalty and store choice of younger shoppers.

2. Meet Lifestyle Needs:
Millennials and Gen Z shoppers prioritize brands and products that align with their lifestyle needs. Retailers should focus on offering clean and safe products, convenient meal preparation solutions, and options that cater to dietary preferences, such as plant-based or keto. Sustainability is also a critical factor, with younger shoppers seeking products that are free from artificial preservatives, minimally processed, and sustainably made. Furthermore, considering the future of wellness and incorporating functional health ingredients can also appeal to this demographic.

3. Emphasize Flavor Innovation:
Private brands provide a platform for independent retailers to drive innovation and offer on-trend assortments that resonate with younger shoppers. Develop bold and head-turning flavor profiles and implement a limited-time offer (LTO) strategy to create excitement and entice customers to try new products. Research shows that younger shoppers view private brands that launch new flavors and LTOs positively. Keep in mind that Millennials and Gen Z shoppers are more adventurous when it comes to trying new flavors, so don’t be afraid to get creative.

4. Embrace Technology and Social Media Engagement:
To cater to the digital natives, it’s crucial for independent retailers to create a seamless omnichannel experience. This includes aligning the online presence with in-store messaging, offering convenient payment options like buy-now pay-later, and utilizing social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. Millennials and Gen Z shoppers often compare prices digitally and seek out deals, so retailers should provide exclusive online deals, digital coupons, and offers that can be redeemed in-store. Engaging with influencers and sharing quick and fun recipes using private brands can also increase brand awareness and appeal.

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