How to gear your eCommerce website towards a millennial marketplace

How to gear your eCommerce website towards a millennial marketplace
Pratik Dholakiya is the founder of Growfusely, a content marketing agency specialising in content and data-driven SEO. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. Pratik has spoken at the 80th Annual Conference of the Florida Public Relations Association, Accounting and Finance Show, Singapore, NextBigWhat’s UnPluggd, IIT-Bombay, SMX Israel, SEMrush Meetup, MICA, IIT-Roorkee, and other major events. As a passionate SEO and content marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge in publications like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web, YourStory, and Inc42, to name a few. He can be found at Twitter @DholakiyaPratik.

Born between the years of 1980 and 2000, millennials consist of approximately 80 million people in the US alone. Perhaps the most interesting thing about them is that they have grown up parallel to the digital revolution and the development of the Internet. In a Selz article on selling products online, Kristen DeCosta points out that you need to be on different digital channels while promoting your store. These include Google search, forums, social networks, and review sites.

Marketing to this particular generation is a completely different ballgame than that of its predecessors. With a spending power estimated to exceed $200 million this year, creating an accommodating eCommerce website is crucial in building your brand for the future.

Let’s explore some ways you can win over the millennial audience.

Optimise for mobile

It’s no secret millennials love their mobile devices – and according to Nielsen, more than 85% of millennials in the US own smartphones while in 2015, mobile usage surpassed desktop as the most popular digital platform.

The improvement of mobile technology in recent years has solidified its status as the triumphant browsing tool and it is more important than ever to create a stellar mobile experience. This is by no means an easy task – however there are a few valuable insights to keep in mind when optimising the mobile UX.

Simplify forms: 53% of mobile visits are abandoned after three seconds due to slow loading times. Complicated forms are a big culprit to this problem. It’s best to make them as short and simple as possible. Keep the required fields to a minimum so users can quickly move through the platform without delay.

Keep the navigation uncomplicated: Try not to bog down the site with unnecessary pages. Which pages get the most views and clicks? Look at your website’s analytics to determine which ones get the most traffic, then include them in the mobile menu. A huge menu does not do well on a mobile device and can make the UX complicated.

Optimise the buying path: One of the best ways to boost your mobile conversion rate is to make the checkout process as easy and quick as possible. Keep in mind that each step in the buying process is another chance for the customer to change their mind. Consider, for example, linking Amazon Payments to your eCommerce site. This allows them to log in and pay with one click without leaving your page.

Mobile eCommerce is here to stay. If you want to keep up with the trends to drive your conversion rates, optimising for mobile should be a top priority.

Give loads of information

Millennials – as indeed do other age demographics – are constantly being exposed to a myriad of websites and brands. If you don’t include enough information about a product or service, you can bet they will be onto the next one without a second thought.

Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer and go the extra mile in providing all the information users might need. For example, let’s say your website sells furniture. Instead of just including product information on the listings, think of potential questions the shopper might have and add an FAQ section. Also, post testimonials for each product to provide a third party option. Here is an example from furniture website Ashley.

Be social

Social media plays an extremely important role in the success of eCommerce websites, especially for millennials. In fact, 90% of young adults are on social media, and according to Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, 93% of buying decisions are influenced by what they do there. With numbers like this, opting out of social media is simple not an option.

Driving website traffic is the name of the game in eCommerce. Attracting visitors through social media is a great way to do this. However, it is much easier said than done.

At the end of the day, a quality social media marketing strategy is well worth it for gaining the support of millennial consumers. Start by setting benchmarks. How much traffic are you hoping to receive via social media? How many followers are you looking to gain? What is the ideal ratio of audience growth/engagement to sales? For example, the HubSpot Social Media Benchmark Report (below) found that eCommerce brands in the consumer goods industry post 6.02 times per week on average, with 11.4 interactions per post.

Next, understand the type of content your ideal customer wants. This all comes down to knowing your target market. Use tools like Mention to monitor your brand mentions, or those of your competitors. This will help to find the inside scoop of the consumer side of your industry when crafting relevant content.

Generally speaking, most users do not visit social media sites for shopping. The focus is on building relationships, with selling in the distant background. Creating relevant, shareable content is critical to establish trust before attempting to make a sale.

Wrapping up

Winning over millennial consumers is a task that leaves a lot of eCommerce brands scratching their heads. While it is difficult, it can be done. With an oversaturation of online content, the key to this generation’s heart is being relatable in a way that is simple and quick to understand. All it takes is a little creativity to let the beauty in your brand shine through.

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