By Brooks Robinson of Springbot

Ask small business owners about their business and customers and you will get a wide range of perspectives. Some business owners rely solely on their cumulative experience talking to and helping individual customers over the years, i.e. gut instincts. While others rely on technology and data to talk about their customers in broad terms, such as my best customers are women between 25 and 35 in the southeast. Neither of those are right or wrong, but broad enough in nature that it is difficult to understand new customer or prospect segments at a deep enough level to market effectively. One segment that comes to mind that bears some serious study: Millennials. Today all business owners must speak to that significantly large and diverse segment to grow their business.

According to Pew Research, the Millennial generation was born between 1981 to 1997 and have now surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation. Unlike prior generations, the Millennial audience are digital natives, extremely brand and cause focused about the products they purchase, and a more diverse interest group than any previous generation.


Digital Savvy

Millennials have grown up with technology at their fingertips, being the first to use social media and ordering products and services online. Millennials are so dependent on mobile devices that 87 percent have their smartphones at their side day and night, according to the CMO Council.

Their affinity for technology is re-shaping the retail space. With product information, reviews, and price comparisons at their fingertips, Millennials are turning to brands that can offer maximum convenience. This means the busy small business owner must manage and market their products across multiple platforms and devices to target the digitally dependent millennial. Axtro Sports, an online retailer of sporting wearables, use to view this as challenging. With the vast array of active wearables online, Axtro Sports noticed many of their shoppers placed items in their digital shopping carts, but did not complete the purchase.

To capture these abandoned cart sales and stay top-of-mind among the information overloaded millennials, Axtro Sports adopted Springbot’s shopping cart abandonment solution with a simple and automated two-message email series. Now, the first reminder email is sent three hours after the cart is abandoned; and the second email is sent three days later with an incentive to purchase. This strategy generates real results for their bottom line.

Since implementing, the automated emails have recovered approximately 10 percent of abandoned cart revenue, grown the average order value by 30 percent and generated a 31 percent click-through conversion rate.


Brands And Conscientious Consumerism

Recent reports paint Millennials as brand loyal and conscientious consumers who like to curate the brands they select to mirror their values, style, and preferences. With immediate access to a company’s philanthropic mission, millennials embrace social responsibility in a way previous generations never have before.

For example, Savannah Bee Company was founded from a passion for bees and beekeeping. They translated that passion into honey and organic beauty products. From digital content and branding to product packaging and their blog, Savannah Bee promotes beauty and food products that deliver benefits derived from natural ingredients.

Savannah Bee has understood the importance of social content, sharing and reviews in driving awareness for their online store. The dedicated “Bee Education” page and Bee Blog which dives into a beekeeper’s life, beehive education, and honey recipes are just a few examples of how Savannah Bee leverages social to educate and reach consumers on the role bees play in our environment. To achieve great results, Savannah Bee relies on a powerful combination of tools, like Springbot, for email and social marketing automation and analytics to distribute their great content.


Know Your Audience

While no one stereotype can define a generation, Millennials are the most diverse financially, demographically, and in their interests. In fact, a 2015 report by Oracle divides Millennials into five distinct segments based on income, gender, and interests such as sci-fi, fast food, finding deals, and setting trends. Savvy small business owners are doing the same: segmenting their audience of prospects and customers to achieve better business results.

Country Club Prep, an eCommerce retailer that sells preppy clothing and accessories, segments customers using data from Springbot to offer targeted and personalized emails. For example, Country Club Prep segments by sending product suggestions based on the shopper’s previous purchasing patterns.

During peak retail season, Country Club Prep stood out among the sea of holiday offers by using customer insights, small acts of personalization and automated emails. Country Club Prep included the shopper’s name in subject lines and increased its emails from an average of 1.5 emails to 12 emails per week. This extra level of personalization drove conversion up by 25 percent and website traffic by 31 percent.


Charming The Millennial Generation

As the Millennial generation continues to transform the digital and ecommerce space, business owners must think not just outside the box, but well beyond the box. To win over this generation, retailers must find the right combination of powerful tools to speak to the diverse group, build their brand, and have a presence on the marketing channels where Millennials work, live and play.


Brooks Robinson is the co-founder and CEO of Springbot, an eCommerce marketing platform, where he is passionate about helping small and medium businesses get access to technology tools typically only available to large enterprises through “the democratization of data and technology.” Follow Brooks on Twitter at @brooksarobinson. To learn more about Springbot, visit or follow us on Twitter at @springbot.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest post are those of the authors alone and do not represent those of CBS Small Business Pulse or the CBS Corporation. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are verified solely by the authors.