Advertising Age predicts that millennials (a segment of the population currently between ages 17 and 34) will have $200 billion worth of annual spending power by 2017. As a result, they’re commanding the attention of e-commerce marketers and retailers, and changing what it takes to attract their business. Here’s a look at how millennials redefining ecommerce.
They expect you to connect to their multitasking lifestyles.
You may be an e-commerce seller, but you can’t limit your marketing presence to online if want to win the attention of a millennial. As Advertising Age reports, 80 percent of millennials are accustomed to multitasking, and use at least two Internet-enabled devices while engaging with a traditional medium, like television. Use a surround-sound approach that helps you connect with millennials online, off, on mobile devices and via social media networks.
They allow no room for an amateur online presence.
There are more than 80 million millennials in the world today, according to MillennialMarketing.com. While few of them remember a world without Internet, the youngest in the segment cannot even comprehend a world without mobile devices and social media. In fact, they are 2.5 times more likely to be early adopters of technology compared to older generations. Though such comfort with technology is beneficial to ecommerce sellers, their tech savvy leaves no room for error in your site’s functionality. In fact, Kissmetrics reports that a one second delay in a site’s load time could cost an e-commerce retailer that generates about $100,000 in annual revenue, up to $2.5 million a year in lost revenue.
They will pay more to support socially conscious businesses.
While e-commerce allows online shoppers to compare prices at brick-and-mortar stores and online sites in a matter of seconds, MillennialMarketing.com reports more than 50 percent of millennials feel it’s important that businesses support social causes; nearly 40 percent will pay a bit more to support a seller that supports a social cause. For e-commerce sellers, this presents an opportunity to form an important bond with millennials that leads to loyalty, and perhaps, referral. By leveraging its commitment to social good, brands like Toms (which contributes a pair of shoes to a person in need for every shoe it sells) have formed brand ubiquity that allows it to command premium pricing, despite lower cost imitators.
They demand a seamless checkout experience.
Millennials are more likely to make a purchase using their mobile devices than other generations, thanks in large part to comfort with technology and the security they perceive it offers as a result. While millennials’ collective receptivity to buying on a mobile device can create more conversions for e-commerce sellers, millennials have high expectations for a truly mobile-friendly checkout. As the experts at Smashing Magazine point out, less is typically more when it comes to an optimized mobile checkout experience. For example, your site should eliminate non-essential fields, including those asking for multiple phone numbers. Allow users to select information using touch controls instead of keyed information.
MillennialMarketing.com reports that 40 percent of millennials want to participate in the creation of a product and evolution of the brands from which they buy, but e-commerce sellers must also recognize their somewhat paradoxical desire to remain anonymous with their strong preference for a guest checkout experience. Jared M. Spool, founder of User Interface Engineering shares that one major e-commerce seller saw a 45 percent increase in its online conversion rate once it removed a button on its site labeled “register,” and replaced it with verbiage explaining that there was no need to log in or create an account in order to purchase.
Millennials make up more than a quarter of the world’s population and are redefining ecommerce, retail and how we all will experience shopping in years to come. While ecommerce sellers stand to benefit from establishing a relationship with millennials, it may require a shift in strategy to accommodate their online shopping habits. Take a cue from the research that has been conducted on millennials, and you could win the loyalty of a powerful segment that will continue to influence technology, marketing and commerce.
Author Bio: Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm. She has more than 20 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing. Follow her on Twitter at @BluePay_CMO.