Millennials are presently the biggest population in the U.S. at 92 million, surpassing Baby Boomers by 20% and Generation X by 50%. This massive presence bodes well for businesses, as millennial shoppers are estimated to spend up to $200 billion yearly. Apart from how much they spend, millennials are also changing the retail landscape by setting the bar on what the consumer experience should be, particularly in the ecommerce space. Their tech-savviness created a new breed of buyers that use modern technology to ease buying experiences.
These new insights from the millennial generation open up opportunities for companies to shape their competitive advantage and eventually profit more. Businesses must further study millennial shoppers' behavior not only to catch their attention but also to make lifelong customers out of them. To gear up your business for the near-future ecommerce evolution, here are some ideas on how to look beyond millennials’ shopping habits and level up your company’s digital experience.
They are particular with online presence.
Millennial shoppers are “digital-first,” meaning new media and the internet are their go-to's to find more about products and services. Online reviews are the new word-of-mouth for them; in fact, many customers decide based on star ratings alone. A company’s online presence speaks volumes to millennial shoppers as well. It is important for them that the company is reachable through a website or various social media platforms.
To give your business an edge in creating an online presence, think about the following changes:
- Make your website accessible through any gadget. May it be a laptop, cellphone, or tablet, millennial shoppers will do window-shopping as long as there is internet access.
- Use social media platforms to your advantage. While having many social media handles has its merits, starting with the more prominent sites might be enough for your company. As you see fit, expand to other options to reach even more buyers.
- Be attentive to online reviews. Especially when customers are satisfied, offer quick ways to solicit feedback from them. Also, since product reviews may be posted anywhere on the web, spend time to check them out and respond to them.
They value consumer experience.
Millennials’ shopping habits seem to be guided by one word: convenience. It used to be that quality, affordability, and brand recognition are enough to win customers. Now, more than 80% of customers value the purchase experience more, which spans from looking for the product to writing a review. Increasing consumers’ power over the purchase process is one way how millennials are changing ecommerce.
Given these observations, your efforts to boost customer convenience may be well-received, so consider which of these suggestions will work well for you:
- Expand means for customers to receive products. Many companies have recently improved delivery methods to ensure speed and convenience. The emergence of curbside pickup has also allowed customers to go to the nearest convenient locations for products purchased online. “Same-day delivery” is a plus point to online customers, while BOPIS (buy online, pickup in-store) is apt for those who still visit brick-and-mortar stores.
- Make sure that in-store buying is also convenient. Relative to physical stores, millennial shoppers are still enticed by traditional retail therapy. In fact, 59% of millennials still go to physical stores weekly. Hence, maintaining efficient and quality services as your brand interacts with millennial shoppers face-to-face is still key in improving your relationship with them.
- Consider “personalizing” the shopping experience. Personalized ads are not a new concept and are still viable in enhancing the buying process. Through personalized ads, it is easier for customers to see their preferences laid in front of them without much searching. Some companies even use retail subscriptions to curate a personalized experience for specific customers.
They inspire technological advancement.
As digital natives of the fourth industrial revolution, millennial shoppers are keen on advancements such as automation and smart technology. Sadly, businesses are still struggling to build a full-fledged digital experience. Customers have been experimenting with what most they can do in the past months because many brands they encountered gave substandard or obsolete digital experiences.
Putting value in upgrading your business’ internal and external processes can help a lot in boosting your consumers’ digital experience. Here is a list of advancements you can opt for not only turning millennial shoppers into lifelong buyers but also paving your company’s way into the future of ecommerce:
- Use automation and ticketing systems. May it be your company website or a social media page, using automation and ticketing systems facilitate immediate responses to customer inquiries. This reduces wait times and shortens customer service turnaround periods.
- Develop an app. Be it a mobile or web app or both, an application specifically made for your business brings a digitally sophisticated image to your company. One important note though is to get inputs from your commercial team if this is the time-appropriate and much-needed technology upgrade your company requires to delight customers.
- Take advantage of digital marketing and advertising. Beyond personalized ads and gadget-friendly websites, study further how to reach your customers in the digital age. For example, you may also look into how some companies invested in augmented and virtual reality to up their game in advertising.
Overall, putting a premium on personalization, convenience, and technology will help you rake in millennial shoppers. Once you have struck a balance between those three, the future of ecommerce is yours to conquer.
Find more ways to propel your business to the future.
At Infinity Consulting Solutions, we are dedicated to helping you prepare for the future of ecommerce and understand your customers’ needs further. Take a look at our ICS Blog for more ideas on how your business can reach greater heights, or feel free to contact us for other market insights and recommendations.