Why Millennials Love E-Commercee_darrellj | Jun 16, 2015
Here are some thoughts on freelancer productivity from Kristen Gramigna, Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay.
Millennials (the term used to refer to those born between 1980 and the year 2000 — give or take a few years) make up more than a quarter of the global population, and are estimated to be a demographic with $200 billion in annual buying power by 2017.
However, to lure this influential group, marketers and merchants must understand that although millennials were born and raised by baby boomers, Gen X and silent generation parents, what they value, where they find information, and how they purchase differs greatly from their parents.
Here’s a look at why millennials love e-commerce:
They don’t believe advertising. Most millennials don’t recall a time when advertisers controlled messages, perception or public opinion. Having come of age in an era of the Internet and social media, traditional advertising’s influence is nearly extinct in the eyes of this demographic. Just 1 percent are swayed by it, according to an Elite Daily study.
E-commerce provides the transparency and public exchange millennials crave. With features like online customer product reviews, social media sharing, and customer forums, e-commerce gives millennials the power to research and make purchase decisions on their own terms. The Elite Daily study also revealed that 43 percent of millennials value authenticity over content when determining what they ultimately believe.
They’re price sensitive. Millennials have had less than stellar experiences with money. Many entered the job market during the 2007 recession, have struggled to find employment, and may be saddled with debt from student loans that hinders their financial lives. On top of their own money woes, many witness their baby boomer parents struggle with the financial inability to retire, secure affordable health care, and live on social security. Millennials may have the education that can help to yield high salaries — but they’re price sensitive. E-commerce gives them the opportunity to research the “all in” aspects of a purchase before they pull the trigger, including competitor prices, shipping fees, taxes and the impacts of a promotion or discount.
They want a voice. As a group, millennials want to be heard. E-commerce allows customers to share their opinions via social media with other potential customers, and their own online networks. Because e-commerce business models typically involve less overhead, they may have more flexibility than a brick-and-mortar environment to seek the input of customers, and put their ideas into action with new products, services and strategies. Nearly half of the respondents to Elite Daily’s study said they want to give companies feedback about their products and services and participate in decisions about future offerings.
They want the lowest effort means of interaction. Millennials are accustomed to instant gratification. Compared to other demographic cohorts, they’re more active on social media, more likely to sleep next to their mobile devices, to have conversations over social media, text or instant message than in person or by phone, and are more willing to try emerging technology, including alternative financial institutions, mobile payments and virtual currency. All of these activities are based on the idea of instantaneous results, with minimal effort. E-commerce gives millennials the “always on” access to the goods and services they want.
They use their time on their terms. Going to the mall requires time and effort associated with driving to the mall, parking, interacting with salespeople, navigating crowds, waiting in lines, taking time to find an item (and trust that it’s offered at a competitive price), and adhering to specific hours of operation. Millennials know they have more convenient options to spend their time in the form of e-commerce — and they use it to their advantage. A study by the Urban Land Institute revealed that though nearly half of millennials spend an hour a day browsing online, more than a third rarely or never go to a physical mall.
E-commerce is a symbiotic tool for merchants and millennials. The low-cost nature of a virtual storefront gives businesses the flexibility to experiment with prices, service policies, promotions and product mix in a low-risk environment. For millennials, e-commerce offers the control they crave, to purchase, share information and form opinions on their terms.
Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm. She has more than 20 years experience in the bankcard various industries including marketing, direct sales and sales management. Follow her on Twitter at @BluePay_CMO.
Millenials photo courtesy of Joe Gaylor