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Photo: Splitshire

Find out how a brand can grab the attention of millennial buyers, who are defining the road ahead for online businesses

The millennial generation means business. Literally. As these post 1980s-born click, share, spend online, retail businesses are falling over each other to catch their fancy. Gen Y, as they are addressed as, is the biggest consumer group in U.S. history and will soon take over from Baby Boomers as the most important consumer, especially for Internet-related businesses.


Buying trends are indicating that by the end of this decade, millennial shopping activity will define how online economy runs its course. Right now these guys are making or breaking brands. Just with a click or tap of their smartphones and tablets, through social platforms, they have the power to generate interest, or mistrust about a product or service. Spending online is not just about material gains for them, but living an experience around it.

If you are a brand that is looking to beat these deal-hungry, social clout wielding, e-commerce beasts, here’s what you could do, to turn them to your favour.

Be social:

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and whatever else is out there, needs to be on your ‘to-be-there’ list. Millennials love to see their favourite brands in the social circuit, share latest product-related information, experiences and generally ‘their opinion’ on just about everything for a brand they buy. And you’d be surprised, how much these opinions can create a flutter, both positive and negative. Make sure to be on the right side.

Photo: SplitShire
Photo: SplitShire


If you are two different brands, in a similar domain, instead of trying to outlive each other, come together and become a force to reckon with. Take cue from what Italian multi-brand clothing and accessories company Yoox and online retailer and editorial site Net-a-Porter did. Yoox, which sells overstocked or unsold designer items at discounted prices online and Net-a-Porter, the website which retails women’s luxury designer clothing and footwear and also puts out a print and digital magazine came together, to integrate their online strengths and woo the millennial buyer, confessed CEO and founder Federico Marchetti of Yoox, in an interview to the New York Times.

Create ambassadors of the brand:

The millennial loves to hear what their friends, acquaintances have to say about a new purchase, product preference or travel experience of theirs. Encourage them to endorse your brand, wherever anyone can see it. Show them some love for the free marketing, and they will spread the word even further. Here’s how a popular eyeglasses brand in the U.S. is leveraging this. It encourages its potential buyers to order a ‘home-try-on kit’, snap a picture of them trying the pair and then sharing it on social media for feedback. Imagine how much conversation something like that will garner about the brand on the Internet.

Offer an experience: 

Value-added services like easy and cheap returns, seamless shopping, where one can touch and feel a product at a brick and mortar space and then proceed to buy it online, from the comfort of their home and at a time of their convenience, tailor-making products and competitive price points are elements, which will keep them coming back for more, every time they decide to go shopping online.