Does Amazon have the winning formula when it comes to connecting with millennials? While it may be impossible to perfect a selling strategy to such a diverse group of consumers, it seems that the major ecommerce brand, Amazon, is doing something right, and other brands would do well to take notice.
Amazon is “Most Liked”
Looks like Amazon’s the cool kid. According to a report from w00t! media, Amazon is the "most liked" tech brand among millennials, age 16-34 years old:
Look! They beat out Master-of-the-Digital-Universe Google (and Facebook and YouTube and Apple…!) Amazon is obviously doing something right to win the love of brands’ most-coveted cohort.
Amazon isn’t just sitting on this award; they’re convincing advertisers along the way that they know what they’re doing when it comes to millennials. According to an eMarketer report, the giant ecommerce site is rolling in the dough from ad sales. Last year, Amazon increased their worldwide ad sales revenue by almost 50% from 2011 to reach $610 million in 2012. eMarketer estimates that the “most liked tech brand” will reach $835 million in ad sales revenue by the end of this year.
Uf-da, right? All this love for Amazon from millennials and advertisers alike may be a signal of Amazon’s winning formula. To investigate further, let’s look at who these millennials are and what they want out of their brands.
Millennials and their brands
Millennials are the up-and-comers, the trailblazers, the 18-to-early-30-year-olds. They’re a buzzed about group of people because they are the ones that will hold much of the purchasing power in the years to come; they are a natural focus for brands. Another eMarketer report found some interesting trends with this unique cohort of buyers:
- When it comes to CPG (consumer packaged goods), an IRI study, conducted in Q3 2012, found that 45% of millennials prefer to “buy brands on sale vs. preferred brands.”
- Millennials do much more online couponing and from a variety of sources including couponing sites, retailers, manufacturers, and social media sites than other cohorts.
- According to eMarketer, about 95% of US millennial adults will own mobile phones by the end of 2013. Of this group, nearly three-quarters of these mobile phones are expected to be smartphones.
- Based on an August 2012 survey by Harris Interactive for The Search Agency, millennial US Internet users were much more likely than older respondents to click on search engine ads — 30% vs. 18%.
What does all this mean? It seems that millennials are looking for a deal over any certain brand, actively seeking out online coupons from their mobile devices; they also aren’t as wary or intimidated by online ads. All these characteristics add up to a strong group of buyers that are prepared to actively engage in a developing mcommerce world. In fact, according to eMarketer, 25% of online retail sales will come from mobile by 2017. And because these millennials are actively searching for coupons, they are more likely to have a positive response to online ads, especially when they are placed next to search results.
So… Why is Amazon killing it?
There seems to be a couple reasons why all the millennials are loving the cool kid, Amazon. First of all, the nature of the ecommerce site easily allows consumers to compare prices among different brands all in one place. That’s a key draw for a millennial that buys “brands on sale vs. preferred brands.” Plus, since millennials appear to be online looking for deals and products, as seen in the “Online CPG Shopping Behaviors” graph, it’s a quick transition to Amazon to purchase the product.
The millennials love it, but what does Amazon have that advertisers are flocking towards? The millennials (duh). Think about it: the millennials have the purchasing power and they love to buy from Amazon; it’s a love fest that just makes sense. For example, millennials are more likely to click on ads online, which Amazon has taken advantage of by placing ads in or near product search results. Another advantage Amazon has over other tech competitors like Google and Facebook is the ecommerce’s targeting potential due to the huge amount of data received from purchases. Naturally, this hard data on consumers makes Amazon very attractive to advertisers. If I were a brand, I’d want to get with Amazon, too.
Amazon is obviously doing something right if both consumers and advertisers love them. The nature of the site, including the ability to easily compare prices without much time investment, scores big points for Amazon among millennials, and their ability to collect consumer data is a big draw for advertisers. The key thing to look out for is the shift to mcommerce as more and more millennials own smartphones. Will Amazon be able to keep its award as “most liked?” It’s worth watching to see if any other tech brands, especially ecommerce sites, will be a threat to Amazon in yet another development in the digital saga.