Article Series – Targeting Millennials 2 of 3
Millennials have grown up with the rise of technology and e-commerce. This cohort now has the strongest presence in the workforce and the most consumption power than any other age brackets.
According to a study done by Bazaar Voice, 84% of Millennials’ consumption choices are influenced by online peer-generated content and product reviews compared to 70% of Baby Boomers.
Where are Millennials choosing to spend this wealth? A survey from ComScore and UPS found that shoppers today make 51% of their purchases online. With the influx of information just at the tip of our fingers, the ease and convenience of e-commerce have become a norm that retailers have been adopting in order to compete successfully in the market.
Recommended ways to Target Millennials on your E-Commerce Platform?
As mentioned in the first article in our Millennial series: Nutrition and Fitness, Millennials love customization. Businesses should make the product search as personalized as having a store employee servicing the customers’ needs.
- Create relevant categories
- Your online platform should not be a place of blind search. Shoppers like having selections that appeal to their tastes. Meticulously separate products into categories that define identities such as women, men, and children, and needs or occasion such as formal, casual, summer, spring, autumn, winter, etc. A/B testing can help determine which categories perform best.
- Establish a reputation that your site is a tool where customers can easily narrow their selections and quickly find products they are likely to buy.
The costs of constructing and managing e-commerce sites have decreased so rapidly that most people can create one of their own. To compete with the sea of online retailers, businesses must improve CRM (customer relationship management) to gain a better understanding of their customers which in turn allows them to better satisfy customer needs. Customers are impressed by sellers who remain attentive of their personal wants and even identify needs they did not know existed.
- Understand your customers more than they do
- Keep an archive of data of each client’s search queries, shopping cart, purchase history, product reviews, demographic, etc. Use this data to suggest goods and services that are relevant to the customer’s specific needs.
- Connect goods and services that serve a complementary purpose to the buyers’ purchases to increase sales and plan ahead for your customers. For example, offer birthday gift wrapping services after a user clicks on a toy.
Where to start?
- How frequently do customers contact you?
- What are the common concerns?
- How frequent are the purchases?
- What products do they favor?
One of the biggest frustrations of online shopping is web traffic, which inconveniences consumers and decreases the shopping experience. Customers expecting the efficient services of e-commerce become frustrated when their purchases do not go smoothly, which harms your site’s credibility and brand reputation.
- Encourage organic traffic
- Millennials crave the satisfaction of taking charge of their consumption choice. Rather than clicking on pop-up ads on websites notorious for harvesting personal data, allow shoppers to surf through search selections to unearth products on their own.
- This type of organic traffic increases the likelihood of conversion and establishing a following for your brand.
Where to start?
- Use Google Analytics to find appealing buzzwords that will land them on your landing page that has these selections, i.e. women’s clothing, design patterns.
- Align your site with research on consumer preferences to ensure that your platform is visible and accessible to shoppers surfing the web.
- Use SEO (search engine optimization)
- Employ tools such as Crazy Egg or HotJar, which are tools that provide heat maps that reveal features most used on your site, i.e. customer service, discount and coupon deals, newest trends, etc.
- Devote more time and resources into highlighting and further developing the hot spots on your site to increase customer satisfaction.
Social Media and Pricing
According to Forbes, most Millennials follow apparel brands on at least one social media platform.
Most people assume Millennials subscribe to official accounts due to brand loyalty and genuine interest in new fashion designs. Yet surprisingly, the majority of millennials are highly driven by price. Like their parents, most Millennials tend to make frugal purchases. They follow brands on social media hunting for discounts and sales.
- Offer coupons and discounts
- According to Forbes, 72% of Millennials search for coupons before making a purchase online. ⅔ of Millennials surveyed say they are willing to switch to a brand that offers 30% or more on discount.
- Rather than competing solely with the most trendy fashion innovations, make shoppers feel as if they are making a steal. Provide deals and coupons—even if customers can only reap a small gain —Millennials are more likely to fill their carts when motivated by discounts.
- Millennials spend an average of 3 minutes searching for a coupon online. Your discounts and coupon offers should be fast, easy, and simple to access, which helps build a reputation that your brand is a customer-friendly and economic choice.
Of course, price is just part of the equation to the consumer conscious. Millennials are also more skilled at conducting research and seeking for cheaper and better options. Contrary to popular belief, e-commerce has not forced brick and mortar stores to extinction. In fact, 82% of Millennials actually value retailers that have physical stores, where brand engagement experiences are often created. The majority of Millennials agree that physically interacting with products allows customers to inspect for quality and make wise purchases. Since cost and quality-conscious Millennials face more uncertainty when making online purchases, retailers must reassure consumers of product quality and functionality through making virtual platforms more tangible.
- Strive for positive peer evaluation
- A study from Independent finds that 8/10 Millennials are reluctant to part from their cash without first reading trusted recommendations on a product.
- Along with the conveniences of sharing shopping experiences and product reviews on social media, comes the tendency to make comparisons and seek validations from peers.
- 60% of surveyed Millennials agree that they are more willing to explore a product based on a peer’s social post. Businesses should incentivize customers to share their purchases on social media or with family and friends to increase their customer base.
Although e-commerce will undoubtedly dominate as a medium for product consumption, Millennials continue to crave the personalized experience and ability to examine product quality in physical stores. Businesses with the ability to make the online shopping experience feel like the in-store shopping experience but with the element of convenience will win more customers over.
It is also crucial to avoid the treachery of over-relying on established brand names to bring in higher price points because. Millennials currently consist mostly of students and employees newly introduced to the workforce who can’t necessarily reach those prices. Striking a balance between providing innovative and unique products and offering discounts or free-shipping services is key to capturing Millennial consumers in the market.