Mobile, Social

4 Things to Engage Millennials on Mobile

Written by Tim Edmundson

Millennials are flocking towards their mobile phones when it comes to online purchases. According to a recent national survey conducted by Bigcommerce, 67% of millennials prefer shopping digitally when compared to an in-store experience.

Brick and mortar stores are beginning to fear the reduced revenue these key consumers are taking with them — and the trend doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon. The US census reported in 2015 that millennials have officially overtaken baby boomers — 75.4 million to 74.9.

But from crisis comes opportunity, and businesses of all kinds — both online and physical retail — can take advantage of the dominance of mobile purchasing. It’s at the forefront of retailers’ thoughts, and is often the subject of discussion at trade shows and summits. 

So how can brands position themselves to benefit from millennials mobile tendencies? It’s all about engaging your audience, and having the right tools to do it.


Two thirds of millennials prefer digital shopping over shopping in physical stores. Important to note, however, is that they also prefer to combine the two, using their phones to research products they’re interested in while in the store. This is a crucial element for brick and mortar locations — they need to supplement their in-store offerings with a strong mobile presence.

Ensure any product or landing pages you have are built with the mobile experience in mind. Remember that those pages are being used to research just as they are used for purchases, so include key information that can help convince your customer to complete their purchase. If you give your customers all the information they need to make an informed purchase through your mobile experience, they are more likely to pull the trigger while they are in-store.


Creating a strong mobile presence through mobile-optimized product pages and ads is an important piece of an all-around marketing strategy. But even as the importance of mobile grows, advertisers are still working to incorporate cross-device targeting to help track its effectiveness. According to a recent survey from Econsultancy, marketers are lagging behind when it comes to effectively utilizing the benefits of cross-device.

> 58% are collecting existing customer data to find similar audiences.
> 48% understand their customers’ typical cross-channel buying journeys.
> 46% deliver dynamic content across formats (mobile, display, video) based on user behavior.
> 39% use it to understand their customers’ cross-device behaviors.

The lack of adoption shows there is ground to cover for a lot of advertisers, and it’s crucial that you not be among that group. Cross-device gives you a more holistic view of your customer’s experience when interacting with your ads since it tracks their complete journey, and if you’re missing out on that, you’re missing out on important information.

The most important thing about cross-device is actually using it. It’s typical for a customer’s purchasing journey to bounce around across multiple devices, so you need to serve them ads across mobile, social, and display. You need to catch your customers when they are most likely to engage, and importantly, you need to track conversions across all devices so you know which of your ads are driving performance.


While 87% of marketers are buying mobile ads, only 11% of them are using segments to target their mobile audience. That simply cannot stand — marketers understand that segmentation is a key component to any display or social campaign, but for whatever reason they are dragging their feet when it comes to mobile.

If you’re running ads on mobile, you should extend the same targeting concepts you use on your other campaigns. With mobile, though, you have a few additional options you can select when targeting, things like device models, operating system, and carriers, so be sure to incorporate that as needed. Use your existing customer data and use it to create segments of shoppers that you know will engage with your brand, and serve them ads to help drive conversions.

After all, this is where your shoppers are spending their time online. If you’re putting brainpower behind targeting on display and social, you had better be doing the same with mobile.


How many times a day do you kill time on your phone by browsing your newsfeed? The numbers suggest it would be quite a bit — nearly 20% of online time is spent on social platforms across mobile and desktop. So if you’re going to tap into your mobile audience, one of the most direct ways to do so is through engaging social ads.

When it comes to running social retargeting campaigns, one of the best ways to engage your customers is through running dynamic creative. This allows you to show your customer the exact product they had recently viewed, as well as name and pricing information. You’re basically giving them a portal back to your site, showcasing the item that caught their eye in the first place. If that doesn’t bring your user back, not much else will.

If you’re running prospecting campaigns, the key to catching your audience’s eye is beautifully branded creative. How to build beautiful creative has been well documented here — use the right colors, embrace empty space, use streamlined visuals, etc. — and once you have that down, it’s all about the right way to deliver them. Any solution you are using should give you the tools you need to target new audiences that are most likely to engage with your brand.