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Supply Chain Insights – Millennials

January 11, 2016

Catherine Salfino

Key Insights

  • Faster fashion, omnichannel approaches, and product education are instrumental to win all Millennial segments.
  • Offer innovative digital platforms and customization options to capture elusive shoppers.
  • Use targeted marketing to reach minority segments of this generation – the most-diverse generation ever.


Millennials are currently the largest generation and are projected to comprise one third of retail spending by 2020. Brands and retailers have taken notice of their importance and are evolving business models and offerings to win Millennials’ loyalty. Fashion and versatility, omnichannel experiences, and customer education are essential components of the Millennial shopping experience.

Millennials are the most racially-diverse generation yet. Thus multi-cultural and ambi-cultural marketing efforts should be particularly successful among them. Millennials are extremely diverse in their life circumstances due to the fact that they were born over a twenty year span of time and consist of teens, newlyweds, parents, etc. This may seem like an obstacle for brands and retailers when it comes to appealing to all Millennials at once; however, targeted marketing efforts geared towards parents (often more scrutinizing shoppers) could yield benefits.

Meeting Millennial expectations will require an omnichannel business model and engaging social media content. However, this does not mean that brands and retailers should eliminate brick and mortar stores since 93% of millennial shopping is still in-store. Omnichannel means appealing to customers and capturing their attention through all shopping channels and along every consumer touchpoint from online browsing to the final point of sale and beyond. Offering innovative digital platforms will make it easier for savvy shoppers to discover new brands and stores and will help retailers remain competitive. Through engaging digital content and customer education, Cotton Incorporated’s current consumer marketing campaign focuses on inspiring Millennials to buy and authenticate their cotton purchases.



  • Anticipate fashion trends. Peruse Cotton Incorporated’s FABRICASTTM collection of turnkey cotton fabrics.
  • Engage consumers through social media. Visit Discover Cotton on Pinterest for ideas and inspiration.
  • Provide products education. Browse The Fabric of Our Lives® website for cotton clothing care tips and more.
  • Offer innovative digital platforms. This will make it easy for online shoppers to discover your brand & help you remain competitive.
  • Provide more customization options.  Other industries have already moved in this direction with success – apparel is next.
  • Offer higher-end products. Many Millennials who are parents are more discerning shoppers and are looking for higher-quality merchandise for them and their growing families.
  • Don’t ignore niche marketing. Minority populations have a lot of buying power and Millennials are the most diverse generation ever. Catering to diverse markets will pay off in the long run.
  • For more information, contact [email protected]


Learn more about the Now of Retail & the Millennial Consumer.