The Millennial Fashion Shopper
What is the Millennial fashion shopper? What has Zara done to become the top choice of Millennial fashion shoppers? Zara has always been one of my first, if not go to choices when looking for something to update my current wardrobe with. There is a vast selection of fashionable choices, made of quality materials, sold at reasonable prices. Better yet, the Zara online store is able to cater my needs with just as great a selection, offered throughout many sales, and can be sent to my house at no cost. Being a Generation Y / Millennial era customer who is as tricky a customer to entice into a store, it isn’t hard to not choose somewhere other than Zara for my apparel needs.
The Spanish based retailer is the biggest fashion retail company in the world and has held that spot for many successful reasons. With over 6,000 international stores and a roaring record profit increase of 27% in 2012, Zara isn’t showing any signs of struggles doing business in the fashion world. Zara has developed many great in-house techniques and business strategies that have cemented their position as the top fashion retailer in the world. Many of these successful techniques are why they have also solidified themselves as the primary target choice for Millennial customers looking to fill a shopping tote with new clothes.
The Millennial age group of consumers has emerged as a focus area for many retail companies recently. The 20-30 year old age group is the largest consumer group, most diverse, and has an increasingly growing spending power. Millennials have also emerged as being much more vocal compared to past generations in their strong desires to voice out opinions, differentiate themselves from the commoners, and show their creative uniqueness. Millennials have also mastered the use of technology, utilizing it to do their heavy research before shopping and using it in their advantage to become intelligent shoppers.
Many retail companies are learning first-hand, that this new customer isn’t the typical customer they’ve dealt with for the past hundred years who does the usual window shopping and fills their needs as soon as possible. Zara has been locked in with their efficient business model that targets directly at Millennials. This includes bringing fresh, new garments to the floor every 15 days, satisfying Millennial requests/desires in apparel needs immediately, doing vast amounts of market research on the ongoing trends, utilizing technology to their advantage, and doing it all in an efficient manner that allows them to offer the products at attractive, reasonable price points.
Zara realizes that Millennial customers hate seeing someone on the street with the same sport coat or dress. The need to be unique and individual is rooted deep in the genes of the Millennial customer. By bringing out a new line of merchandise every two weeks, it is very unlikely that a shopper is going to find someone with the same outfit. This distinction is an attractive factor to Millennials who are used to seeing most fashion retailers have new merchandise only every 5/6 months for a new season. We do not enjoy that.
Millennials also enjoy engaging through every social media channel possible to find the hottest new trends, emerging designers, limited edition merchandise to soon be released, and all the research they can gather to fill their heads with. If a new line of trendy shoes is being offered at only a certain event, you can bet your sweet ass we will be there in an instant to pick up that limited item. Zara does their market research ahead of the curve on what the next big trend will be and what has been filling up the forum columns for the past couple weeks. They will fill up their store with that new trend and after it sells out will have no inventory costs to worry about. By doing their extensive research correctly, Zara is able to solve many logistical issues that many retailers worry about while also satisfying multiple Millennial requirements in a superb manner.
We also love the elegant atmosphere that encompasses a Zara store. The high end, upscale environment is welcoming to the images portrayed in our heads of stores that seem attractive to our creative senses. There are no huge laundry baskets of sales sitting at the front entrance, no brightly lit signs sprayed out throughout the store, or blaring hip-hop music that is played constantly through every radio channel. Zara presents a very bright, pleasant store environment that soothes in the customer. At the same time salespeople who are helping customers take note of each opinion and make sure to send it in with the research reports. This strong brand image also represents to us the quality of the merchandise that we buy when we shop at Zara. I recently bought a dark blue, cotton Zara man waistcoat from their online store and I can definitely notice the difference in quality to the Macy’s waistcoat I had bought previously. Millennial research always comes in mind when quality issues arise and technology is always the first help option that we go to. Zara though takes into measure quality assurances with their own production facilities that helps facilitate that strong social image of a quality, fashionable product.
The last major factor that brings Zara out into the spotlight is their price. Millennial customers have a certain price range in mind when shopping and will use their research to find all the best possible deals. Quality and image are also taken in at the same time. H&M and Forever 21 have certainly nailed the price with either the quality or image but never all three. Zara has done this with ease. Each piece of merchandise is priced at a comfortable price, if not a little higher than what other industry competitors may offer. However, for all the necessary factors taken into consideration Zara is able to piece every factor into a complete package offering that makes it our first store choice and usually our last store choice for updating our wardrobe.