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Creating A Millennial Loyalty Program That Works Pt. 1

The term “millennial” is used to describe people born between the early 1980s, mid-1990s, and early 2000s. When it comes to loyalty programs and demographics, the conversation eventually always turns to focus on this demographic group, and for good reason: Millennials are now the largest generation living in the U.S. and collectively have an annual spending power of over $600 billion.


Consumers spend 37 percent more with brands when 
they are a loyalty program member, and Millennials are the most brand-loyal generation, with 80 percent participating in loyalty and rewards programs. However, although loyalty programs have a higher influence on Millennial and Generation Z consumer spending than on Baby Boomers (66 percent vs. 58 percent), younger consumers are less satisfied with their loyalty programs compared to their parents (30 percent to 49 percent). Millennials are highly selective and shy away from traditional, shopworn loyalty programs. 



Millennials want a loyalty program that goes beyond the transaction. They want experiences, engagement, and convenience, and they want a brand’s values to align with their own. Here are a few ways your company can tweak their marketing and communication strategies to gain the loyalty of Millennials:



Millennials use technology in every aspect of their lives, and they expect–and demand–that digital solutions improve and augment their daily experiences. Asking Millennials to carry around coupons, punch cards, QR codes, or multiple loyalty cards isn’t the answer. Millennial loyalty programs must be user-friendly, easy to use, and save time. Millennials are impatient–they are quick to give up on slow-loading apps or confusing UI. Loyalty programs should be multi-channel, accessible via laptop and mobile devices, and enable seamless purchasing. Digital wallets are the future of payments. What are consumers looking for with digital wallets? Click here to find out.



Millennials were born into a world of emerging technology, with the internet, smartphones, and digital payments all eventually becoming a part of daily, everyday life. 76 percent of Millennials own a smartphone. A study by POQ Commerce revealed that 68 percent of Millennials consider their mobile device their most important and valuable item. According to eMarketer, nearly a third of the age groups between 13-18 and 19-22 years old spend five hours a day on their mobile devices, with 50 percent dedicating four hours per day. This number gets even higher with Millennials between the ages 25 and 34, who use mobile apps the most out of all demographics. According to research by Revzi, when millennials shop in a brick-and-mortar store, 75 percent of them use their smartphones to conduct research on products.


If businesses want to make an impression on Millennials, it is integral that they develop mobile sites, apps, and loyalty programs. 75 percent of Millennials would engage more with loyalty programs that offer mobile-friendly rewards and reward information. Millennials want easy access to product and reward information via text messages, emails, push notifications, real-time alerts, mobile wallets, and mobile-first websites. 45 percent of Millennials access coupons via email on mobile devices, and 63 percent are more likely to buy something if they receive a coupon on their mobile device while near a store.



A great way to connect to Millennials is by supporting causes they are passionate about and identify with. 65 percent of shoppers will choose to make purchases from a brand whose values–and the actions of their company leaders–align with their own. A majority of Millennials will buy from a company over the competition if they support charity they believe in. Millennials will research companies to check their values and sustainability efforts before actually making a purchase. Brands that are associated with causes that Millennials care the most about, such as the environment, education, and equality, will earn the demographic’s trust and loyalty. 


Businesses are made to turn a profit–this hardly comes as news. However, consumers–especially Millennials–want to support brands that improve their communities and the world around them. Create a narrative that naturally resonates with Millennials, and you will have gained a loyal and longlasting consumer group.



20 percent of Canadian Millennials have stopped using cash for low-price purchases. Over 50 percent of Millennials use cash for purchases less than four times a month (roughly once a week), up 20 percent from 2018. 75 percent of Millennials make a purchase decision online based on the payment experience rather than only the product. They are choosing where to shop based on how easy it is to make the payment. Millennials are looking for better information on the transactions they do, and they are looking for more services to help them manage their finances. Create a Millennial loyalty program that is based around digital, electronic payments in order to secure their loyalty.


Millennials–and other “next generations”–represent the future of revenue. Winning the hearts, minds, and wallets of Millennials requires a unique outlet, strategy, and mindset. In Part 2, I’ll discuss more ways to tailor your Millennial loyalty program to give Millennials what they want in order to build deeper connections and gain their loyalty. 




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