As most years do, 2018’s economical status closed out with a serious bang. Due to the holiday rush, most businesses do very well during the final quarter of the year. However, in the 2018 holiday shopping craze, e-commerce sales were up far higher than in years past.
According to studies conducted by researchers at Shopify, one of America’s leading e-commerce domains, e-commerce holiday trends have been steadily rising for the past 4 years. In 2015, just over $80 billion of the holiday sales were conducted on line. In 2018, these sales jumped to a whopping $123.73 billion.
Similar results were seen in Canada’s overall e-commerce market. Throughout 2016, over $34 billion was spent in the online marketplace. While this remained more or less consistent over the past 3 years, the projections for 2019 are up by about $4 billion, bringing the projected Canadian online marketplace to just under $44 billion for the year. The projections for 2020 jump another $4 billion, bringing the total to just under $48 billion. For 2021 we’re looking at over $51 billion and over $53 billion for 2020.
Why such a drastic increase in less than a decade?
For the holiday season alone, the increased online marketing campaigns, near wholesale deals, inclimate weather, and the sheer convenience of online shopping account for a big portion of these numbers.
While Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas deals commercially provide great monetary revenue for businesses, the truth is, business is conducted year-round.
So what accounts for the rest of these e-commerce numbers? You can have a rock-solid marketing campaign, but these campaigns mean nothing without your client base, and the target e-commerce client base is—you guessed it—Millennials.
Key Millennial Shopping Habits, and How to Use Them to Your Advantage:
As a small business trying to make it in the big ocean of e-commerce, it’s easy for your brand to get lost in the shuffle. Hearing that online marketing is the hot ticket is likely unsurprising but certainly can be overwhelming, whether you’re new to it or not.
The key to marketing to Millennials is maintaining a serious adaptability as a brand. While your brand—your ethos, mission, and overall form—must stay consistent, your marketability is purely dependent on your flexibility.
However, there is hope.
While no business, or person for that matter, can accurately predict what social media or shopping platforms will be hottest in a decade—or even next year—there are some tried and true truths about Millennial shopping habits which give marketing a stability in all the change.
In the insanity of the modern schedule, convenience is a huge factor in online shopping. The internet gives us the ability to complete more than 24-hours worth of tasks in a 24-hour period.
We can get our haircut and grocery shop at the same time—all the while waiting for our kids to get out of soccer practice. Thanks to units like Alexa, we are able to research and listen to online articles as we’re driving or doing chores around the house.
This multi-tasking environment means that Millennials have to be highly adaptive in order to keep up with the crazy pace the digital world sets. Therefore, the more convenient and user-friendly your website and social media pages are—the more likely they are to capture the attention of a very busy Millennial.
Studies show that products that come with videos in addition to pictures and descriptions are more likely to sell. This is due to giving the consumer the most amount of information in the shortest, and most convenient, manner.
2. The Price
Another leader in Millennial shopping habits is price. Millennials, for all their research skills, will not give second thought to a product that is outside their scheme of the product’s value.
So there are two solutions here:
- Build the value
- Make it affordable
Be sure to charge what your product is worth, but ensure—at all costs—that your consumers understand why your product is worth what you charge.
The running joke is that Millennials have no money. It’s true. So if we’re going to spend more on something—it had better last us. If your product is a T-Shirt, chances are we are going to look at 20 different brands to get something similar to yours for a much lower cost.
Unless you’re selling something that joins profits with our favorite charity or offers something really out of the ordinary, do your research and make sure your prices are competitive with those in your industry.
3. The Visual
In an iconoclast society, brand recognition is paramount for success. However, having a visually satisfying logo is only the beginning.
Visually pleasing ads are the next step to having brand and sales success. Subliminal messaging is key in marketing. Research color and shape psychology as a beginning guide. If you are offering a service that is meant to generate peace and tranquility, blues and greens are the best base color schemes for your ads.
If you’re looking to appeal to a bubblier market, bright colors and bold shapes are the way to go. This all comes down to knowing your target audience and linking that knowledge to how you express your brand in your adverts.
4. The Human Element
Millennials are human too. In fact, we now make up a good majority of the population’s commercial market. All the 80s and 90s kids are growing up and having kids of their own.
The human element can be engaged in all sorts of ways. Throwbacks to childhood in marketing are always a winner, but even more—Millennials want to be treated as human beings.
In a world where telecommuting and e-commerce are the norm, sometimes it’s refreshing to have a face-to-face conversation. But the next best thing is to have a genuine connection with someone over the interwebs.
Ensuring that your online customer service reps not only know the business, but are genuinely interested in making connections with your consumers will drastically improve the rates at which your consumers return.
When it comes to choosing your remote customer service reps, their personability is an absolute make it or break it factor for your consumer relations.
Marketing to Millennials is very much possible. Stay on top of research and be willing to take some risks. That is key to getting ahead of the game. The tips above should help you on your way to success!
Eric Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. Heloves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing theirrevenues. You can find Eric on Twitter @ericdavidgordon