The Millennials, born between 1982 and 2004, are a generation shaped by the rise of technology and mobile innovations. These young adults have grown up in a world surrounded by fast-moving technology and are the biggest users of mobile technology today. For Millennials, smartphones are an essential part of their everyday life.
mCommerce, the buying and selling of goods through mobile devices, is one of the latest global ecommerce industry trends, and mcommerce sales were nearly 30% of all ecommerce sales in the US during 2015.
According to Pew Research Center, 86% of US Millennials own smartphones and nearly half of Millennials say they “couldn’t live without” their mobile device. This makes Millennials important targets for your business’s mcommerce efforts. Here are the three most important mcommerce trends for catering to Millennials:
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are used frequently by Millennials. According to Marketing Sherpa, an impressive one third of Millennials say that social media is a preferred form of communication with businesses. However, it’s interesting to note that social media doesn’t increase direct sales significantly. Instead, Business Insider found that 40% of Millennial consumers use social media to research products before buying them. This highlights the importance of creating a strong and attractive brand presence through social media.
According to a survey from GfK and Facebook IQ, 57% of Millennials shop with the help of mobile devices. The current trend shows that consumers are most likely to research products on their smartphone and then buy online or in stores, although completing purchases through mobile devices is on the rise. Many times, these omni-channel shoppers will enter a store and use their smartphones as they shop. Popular activities include comparing prices, reading reviews and doing extensive research into the product they wish to buy. Sometimes, the consumers will also make purchases online through a mobile app or online store. A study performed by Forrester found that half of all consumers expect to be able to make a purchase online and pick up a product in store. In addition, many consumers wish to check inventory levels at their local store before visiting.
Purchasing via mobile app or mobile website
Making purchases through mobile apps and mobile websites has become a common occurrence for Millennials. One of the major benefits of mobile shopping is that consumers can easily make purchases wherever they are, for example, on their journey to work or while sitting in a coffee shop. This increases the number of spontaneous purchases made.
This trend enables companies to offer personalized content and rewards programs via mobile, making purchases easier and more enjoyable. A study by Social Lens Research found that 35% of Millennials make purchases through their smartphones. 18% use mobile apps, whereas 23% prefer to buy through the mobile web. This shows the importance of keeping a responsive, effective mobile website in addition to developing a high quality mobile app.
How can your business make the most of these trends?
- Be active on social media. Use popular social media channels to attract Millennials. Provide social media advertisements as well as up-to-date, exciting content. Include plenty of two-way communication so consumers feel their individual needs are being met. Provide coupons, discounts, and run promotions for those who share, like, and comment on your posts. This increases your brand presence in the social media world – where Millennials spend about 5.4 hours of their day.
- Incorporate mobile payments. Using secure mobile payment solutions such as mobile wallets and mobile payment apps removes the need for a credit card or bank account. These mobile payments can also be made from any location, making them an easy and attractive way to make purchases through a mobile device. This increases their popularity with the millennial generation.
- Make omni-channel shopping easier. Understand what omni-channel shoppers want and provide an integrated, seamless experience for all stages of both offline and online purchasing. This increases brand loyalty. According to a recent study by the Aberdeen Group, 89% of customers are retained by companies with strong omni-channel retention strategies, compared to just 33% for those with weak strategies.
- Focus on personalization. Millennials are a diverse generation. Studies by Accenture found that Millennials are the most likely to appreciate a personalized shopping experience. As targeted advertising becomes more popular, they expect to see relevant content. It’s important for businesses to focus on providing consistent engagement with individual customers, through both online and offline channels.
As the prime users of smartphones and other mobile devices, Millennials are the ideal target for your mcommerce marketing efforts. By providing the Millennials with a customized and seamless experience across all channels, you can maximize your mcommerce sales and increase brand loyalty.