• Gaurav Reddy

What do millennials want in reward programs?

Tapping into the Millennial Mindset is becoming increasingly important for enterprises to retain their customers. The ever-growing boom in technology has digitalized the experience for a millennial and given them access to a whole new world to shop. A more unified and engaging brand experience is the only way to retain the highly demanding millennial in today’s day and age.

Millennials are one of the crucial pieces of the puzzle for enterprises to retain a larger portion of their existing customers. A survey revealed 37% of millennials prefer discounts as their chosen choice of reward, 30% prefer receiving points for $ spent and 20% preferred points for the number of visits respectively. An enterprise should strive to find a balance between these three statistics to allow millennials to earn points across different brands. As millennials are always quick paced to adapt to the ever changing rewards ecosystem, your loyalty program should allow customers to reap the benefits of their purchases through points and rewards quickly. The longer you make your millennial customers wait, the slower the engagement rate increases with the brand.

Millennials need to trust the brand to begin with. This demography tends to trust brands they identify with. For example, it comes of no surprise that Uniqlo has appealed to the vast number of millennials due to their larger than life mission to provide back to the community. ( their brand message ) This category of the customer wants their voices heard, and aren’t afraid to express their concern/ dissatisfaction with the brand they are purchasing from. Social networks, google reviews, yelp are all clear examples of how customers perceive a brand. Usually some reviews are polar opposites of each other which is a clear indication, brands haven’t engaged well enough with each of their distinct customers. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, Indian millennials are the second most optimistic among the 40 countries that participated. They're main goal is to make an impact on society and believe that businesses will be most effective in solving the world's most pressing challenges. Millennials incline towards brands that allow them to use their points as ubiquitously as cash across different redemption categories.

The general trend for millennials to overlook the reward points they have earned is becoming more common. Planning your reward programs right can help save and earn money every month. There are two ways to connect with millennials. The rational approach where you recognize customer’s need to be rewarded and the emotional approach where customers feel the need to be recognized. Millennials are not ready to wait for a lifetime for material satisfaction. Privacy is another huge factor in determining which loyalty program millennials trust. Before sharing personal information reward programs need to fathom how to provide reassurance to customers that their data isn't being breached.

The general customer behavior has changed due to the evolution in the retail sector. Customers are browsing more in the automobile, computer and appliances category and Google accounted for a double in growth of shopping queries from mobile phones in India. Millennials use technology in every aspect of their lives ( 76% of them own a smartphone ). Out of all the generations ( age groups )80% of millennials participate in reward programs. Their highly selective nature entices them to ignore the traditional, closed loop reward programs.

It is integral for an enterprise to engage their customer through websites and mobile applications as they can engage more frequently with their reward programs. Payment procedures influence buying patterns as well due to the demonetization process which has happened in India. Scan and Pay and other digital, electronic payment can incentivize the customer to make quicker purchases. These kind of services are cashless and are crucial for millennials to manage their finances. Enterprises should go beyond the transaction and take the customers through a journey. They want brand values to align with their own. By achieving this feat, reward programs can help retaining millennials .


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