Not so long ago, the media was buzzing with some surprising news: Millennials are shopping at Walmart. In fact, Walmart CMO, Steve Bratspies, recently noted that two-thirds of all Millennials in the U.S. had shopped a Walmart over the past month.
That doesn’t mean that Walmart and its suppliers are guaranteed Millennial business, though. Why? Jessica Hendrix of Saatchi & Saatchi X points out on a recent episode of Focus on Suppliers that Millennials like Walmart for its convenience — particularly the new grocery pick up service.
But convenience may not be enough to keep Millennials shopping at Walmart. Recent headlines reported that dollar stores are getting a huge push from Millennials, who appreciate low prices and — you guessed it — the convenience of shopping at these stores. There’s also the “German threat” from the rapid expansion of Aldi and Lidl.
The moral of the story is: If Walmart and its suppliers plan to keep Millennial shoppers, they must learn how to connect.
As Hendrix says:
“What we need to think about is Walmart as a total ecosystem. So whether you’re shopping Walmart online, through grocery pick up, or in one of their retail stores, how do we make sure that that experience feels connected? So convenience doesn’t have to be just the location that they’re shopping in, but that total experience. How can we connect with Millennials emotionally to bring that experience to life for them and meet all of their needs?”
The answers to these questions are going to be different for each supplier and for Walmart itself. It’s important to understand that convenience is situational: Millennials who regularly shop at the Neighborhood Market because it’s down the street won’t have any problem switching to Dollar General or Aldi when those stores pop up around the corner.