Still wondering how to target millennials? Focus on bridge millennials instead

How to target millennials? That’s been the question on the lips of every business owner at some point. And it’s clear why: They use social media. They're building careers and starting families. They're key to a successful marketing mix.

That may be true. But there's an important part of this conversation that's been missing: millennials aren't one-size-fits-all. There's a core group of millennials who have their own unique traits and behaviors.

Bridge millennials, born between 1980 and 1989, sit on the cusp between millennials and Generation X. They were some of the first digital natives to start spending online, and they can be extremely valuable if you're looking to drive engagement and revenue.

So, how do you cater to them? Here's what you need to know.

How to target millennials: The first professional digital generation

If you’re wondering how to target millennials, marketing online is key. And like other millennials, bridge millennials grew up using computers, smartphones, and connected devices, so they're comfortable communicating online. And since bridge millennials are on the older end of the millennial spectrum, they were the first to have started their professional careers in the digital age. This means, compared to their younger counterparts, bridge millennials are even more accustomed to using connected devices to work, socialize, and, of course, shop for their favorite products.

Since they've been working longer than younger millennials, bridge millennials also have more disposable income to spend. To capture this audience, sell in multiple channels – and consider how to target millennials on social media, one of their favorite platforms.

They want to buy directly from brands

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) shopping is on the rise. In fact, D2C e-commerce sales are expected to exceed $17 billion in 2020 – a 24.3% increase from 20191 – and it looks like bridge millennials are driving a lot of this growth. Half of that demographic say they're "very" or "extremely" interested in making purchases directly from their favorite brands. Meanwhile, fewer millennials, Generation Z, and Generation X consumers say the same.1

This shouldn't be too surprising. As the first digital natives, bridge millennials favor seamless, online buying experiences, which many D2C sellers offer.

This provides a major opportunity for you to swoop in and build relationships with customers who want that personalized experience. To do so, it's important to have an informative, easy-to-navigate website that provides a seamless checkout process. You can also incentivize audiences to tap into special offers and loyalty perks for making repeated direct purchases.

They prefer to use digital payment methods

Digital payment options are crucial for today's consumers. Buyers want to purchase products online, enjoy the ease of curbside pickup, and pay in-store with touch-free methods like digital wallets.

Among bridge millennials specifically, 70% say merchant payment options impact whether they'll shop in-store, proving how important digital payment options are to their buying experiences.2 And there are certain types of digital payment options that can be especially attractive for bridge millennials, especially touch-free ones like QR codes.

They like to pay over time

Speaking of payment preferences, get this: 60% of millennial consumers would rather spread the cost of a purchase over 6 months even if they had the ability to pay today.3

And, when considering how to pay for an online or mobile purchase, 68% of millennial consumers rate the ability to pay for their purchase in installments as important.3

Bridge the gap to bridge millennials

It's time for marketers to face a hard but important truth: Not all millennials shop alike. You have a valuable opportunity to tap into a unique segment – bridge millennials – by customizing their shopping experiences to meet their needs. This means offering digital, touch-free and direct payment options, so bridge millennials can tap into that spending power and make purchases where they feel comfortable – on digital platforms.

The PayPal Commerce Platform helps make direct selling easy. It's built to help you simplify purchases, drive revenue, and accept payments from customers across the globe – all from one platform. They can even use it to set up subscription memberships and recurring payments, so customers know they can always return to buy directly from their favorite brands. Learn more.

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