At about 80 million strong, the millennial generation, which comprises those born between 1980 and the early 2000s, is the largest generational cohort in US history.

As this diverse demographic group reaches its peak earning years, millennials' preferences and consumer behavior are increasingly taken into account in marketing strategies and business planning—especially in the e-commerce sphere, since millennials tend to be avid online shoppers.

As with any other generation, millennials are not a monolithic group, so it's important not to overgeneralize. But generations are shaped to some extent by the times in which they come of age, so it makes sense that marketers who wish to reach this demographic group understand the forces that drive millennials. For e-commerce marketers, knowing what makes millennials tick is critical to success.

Here are three things to keep in mind while marketing to millennials.

1. Consistently deliver value

One unique thing about millennials is that they grew up with the Internet and are therefore accustomed to interacting with peers on social media. Many of them don't remember a time when it wasn't possible to google a product, company, or person to learn more about them, or to interact with a business online.

Although millennials value their privacy, they are more willing than previous generations to share personal information with companies in exchange for something of value.

For marketers, the opportunities presented by that willingness to share are clear: Millennials tend to be receptive to interactions across numerous social media platforms and they're willing to provide data when there's something in it for them.

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image of Hernan Vicuna

Hernan Vicuna is brand manager at Zenni Optical, an online retailer of prescription eyewear.

LinkedIn: Hernan Vicuna