Millennials Don’t Shop Locally. Or Do They?

n-MAN-WOMAN-SHOPPING-628x314If you run a local business, you’ll likely heard the commonly accepted wisdom that millennials prefer to do their shopping online, and you’ve probably resigned yourself to the fact that you’re just not going to get their business. You may have pulled back on the advertising geared toward millennials, or even worse, never even tried to make your local business appeal to them.

But if this is your philosophy, some recent shopping trends say that you’re making a big mistake.

Do Millennials Shop Locally?

In short, yes they do. But it’s not as cut and dried as you would imagine. Here are some numbers taken from a recent survey:

  • While only 57 percent of Baby Boomers visit multiple local businesses to find a great deal, 71 percent of Millennials do. That flies in the face of the accepted “wisdom” that Millennials only shop online.
  • It’s true that 76 percent of Millennials go to the internet to browse the products they want to buy, but 67 percent of them then go to a local business to make the purchase. That means that only 33 percent of them actually buy the product online.

As you can see, it’s worth your time to go after millennial business. If you ignore this generation—who loves to shop by the way—you’re cutting yourself and your business short. Here are the 3 steps you should begin today to start drawing the millennial shoppers to your local business and bring in more holiday traffic.

Create Your Local Business Listing

Local business listings are the new Yellow Pages, and those business owners who haven’t yet created one are doing their business a disservice. They serve as “address books” on the internet, and it’s where people find US local businesses to visit. For example, if you were looking for a Greek restaurant, you would go to a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and enter the search term, “Greek restaurant.” Then you would see a list of all the Greek restaurants in your area. Can you see why consumers are using local business directories as a way to find US local businesses? As a local business owner, it’s important that you understand that online advertising is an important part of your overall local business marketing strategy.

In order to create your local business listing, go to FindUsLocal.com and claim your business. Then simply fill in all the details asked of you and hit save. Remember, you’ll need to enter your details the exact same way on every local business listing you create, otherwise the search engine spiders won’t recognize the local citations as your—and that will hurt your search engine ranking.

Drive Customers There to Leave Reviews

After you’ve created your local business listing on quality local business directories like FindUsLocal, it’s time to put it to use. Business listings that routinely add fresh content are more likely to be recognized by the search engine spiders, and one of the best ways to get that fresh content is to ask customers to leave an online review for your business. And don’t worry about getting enough reviews. It’s easy to get them because recent surveys show that 7 out of 10 customers will leave a review for your local business if you ask them. Make sure to get at least 10 reviews so your business will have the social proof that most of today’s consumers demand.

Interact with Customers Using the Unique Comment Feature

In addition to adding fresh content to your local business listing with online reviews, you can also use the comment feature offered exclusively by FindUsLocal.com. This unique feature allows business owners to leave comments that its customers can read. For example, if you receive a new shipment of a popular product, you can announce it via a comment. And if you want to announce that you’re hiring a new sales clerk or office assistant, you can let the community know via the comments. If you’re having a sale, the comment feature is also a great way to get the word out.

And what makes this feature even better is the fact that consumers can also use the comment feature to leave comments about your business. What’s the difference between online reviews and the comments section? With online reviews, people are leaving them to let others know about their experience when visiting your business. But when leaving comments, consumers may use it to communicate directly with you about something, give others a hint about a special product your carry, or even talk about the best place to find parking near your local store. As you can see, the comment feature is not only a great way to add fresh content to your local business listing, but it’s also a great way to interact with the people in your community who shop at your store.

Millennials are a special generation, and when you’re marketing to them, it’s important to keep their unique traits in mind. Your business will need to be found online, they want the social proof before visiting your store, and interaction with a business is a must. Luckily, local business directories like FindUsLocal.com check every box. Have you been ignoring Millennial shoppers this holiday season? It’s not too late to get their attention now!

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