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How millennials are shaping the future of eCommerce

Whether or not millennials and gen-z are creatures of superior sophistication always makes for lively debate. However, if you are an online service provider, that doesn’t matter. What does matter is their level of digital sophistication. Understanding the millennial generation, the first truly digital natives and their online habits are key to growing your business. They currently hold the biggest purchasing power of any generation.

What’s the trend

The trend of moving towards social shopping and services online was already established before Covid; the pandemic sped it up. Unlike older generations, who were not born with an app in their hand, millennials have a profound understanding of how technology can and should serve them. They also have high expectations of what capabilities that technology should have. The digitally fluent will expect all online presences to be fully updated, provide the latest technology and easy UI experience. Did you know that millennials do more than 54% of their shopping online? 67% of millennials prefer to shop online than in stores. Furthermore, 45% of millennials prefer buying online because it enables them to compare products and prices. The natural evolution seems to be the ability to shop online together with friends.

Millenials vs Others

One difference between older shoppers vs millennials is the approach. When shopping online, older shoppers are purpose-driven. “I need a mop. I need a shirt.” For millennials, online shopping is an experience. They expect to be able to communicate with others. For younger users, sharing is an integral part of digital life. It’s a way to gather and disseminate information. Comparing prices, reading and writing reviews, locating discounts and benefits, chatting with communities and peers is the norm. Research shows that the digital generation is also more thoughtful and less impulsive in their buying habits. The ability to understand and provide the right end-to-end shopping experience is key to a site’s success. You can lead millennials to a website, but you can’t make them shop; unless the website has a social shopping platform embedded. Now you are getting somewhere!

Listen & Win

Millennials have great buying power; they are savvy, informed users. Understanding and knowing what their expectations are is a competitive edge. To win in this competitive landscape, eCommerce providers must listen and learn. Those that do, will profit, but more importantly, will actively turn the Internet into a medium that connects and empowers people. The shopping journey always starts with an intention and ends with an action. The real power is in leveraging the journey between the two steps.