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I’m Sitting Right in Front of You…Why Are You Texting Me?

Written by Karin Sheridan

March 15, 2022

If there is one glaring difference between the generations, the whole “send me a text” thing is probably the biggest. It used to be “give me a call”…right? I still call, but no one answers. Send a text, I’ve got their attention. Here’s a great example. My daughter Megan’s voicemail has been full for 2 years….when I asked her about it she says she doesn’t even know her pin#……That pretty much says it all. Texting it is. And have you seen how fast these Millennials can type? It’s staggering. I personally never quite got the hang of typing fast, hence my less than stellar grade in typing 101. (Remember when that was an actual class?) Now it’s mandatory for day to day communication, and it starts in preschool.

To understand better the “how” to communicate with Millennials we should probably understand the “why” first. And it’s really quite simple….texting and visual communication makes them comfortable. It’s also what makes them feel connected and engaged. Even when they’re together they can be looking at the very same thing on Facebook… and texting each other about it! Not talking. But that’s normal to them.

So armed with this information what do we do with it as a grocery retailer? If my key demographic is a visual consumer, who likes charts and graphics and talks through their fingers, how do I adapt and stay relevant?

Luckily for us there are a multitude of digital solutions that engage and communicate right from your floor space. It’s just a matter of trying a new path…. that to us Boomers may feel foreign and intrusive. But not to Millennials…they “like” and more importantly “expect” alerts sent to their phones from beacons, NFC tags and QR codes that send push notifications. Send them a coupon and they’ll love you even more. This is the way Millennials want to be engaged.

How about digital signage, on-line ordering and pick up, recipe kiosks, in-store TV networks, text deals, couponing apps and rebate apps? Are you taking part in or utilizing these engagement tools? Your website had better be mobile friendly as well because that’s where they’re going to be viewing it from.

6 Years ago these type of digital tools might have seemed out there and far-fetched to some. With each passing year they are becoming more and more of a necessity. The reality is that Millennials will move on to another retailer if you can’t communicate in a way that touches them directly. So what’s a little emoji among friends going to hurt? Emoji’s carry a message…it’s a language in and of itself, and one Millennials understand. They’re visual and visual effects evoke emotion, they carry an inflection or message…and they are important. Another huge visual trigger for marketing is using pictures depicting key life markers in their lives. A picture speaks a thousand words takes on a whole new meaning with this generation.

All these communication methods are necessities for relevant communication with this generation. You don’t have to do all of them but you need do at least some of them to garner a Millennial customer base.

Last, but certainly not least, is the actual visual impression made on your sales floor. Remember visual is the key word. Store lay-out and visual guides to meal planning, recipes and new foods are going to get their attention. Show them a dish that “looks” amazing and a site for the recipe and your speaking their language. You’re opening up a line of communication. Give them one good recipe and they’ll be back for more…I promise! And isn’t that how most of us got our spouses…Speaking the language of love……through food.


Blue Skies Everyone


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