How are millennial shoppers driving eCommerce trends?

Author: Myk Baxter


Earlier this year, a study by coupon code search engine CouponFollow found that millennials were now responsible for 60% of online purchases, a noticeable increase from the 47% figure recorded in 2017. Millennials, people born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, are now the largest age demographic – and, on eCommerce platforms, are even outspending wealthier baby boomers.

Though figures from the UK’s Office for National Statistics reveal that the country’s baby boomers are 17 times wealthier than their millennial countryfolk, separate data from First Insight indicates that, per visit, millennials spend more than boomers online in both the UK and the US.

Millennials now outnumber any other generation, with over 80 million just in the US. This should be a wake-up call for webmasters engaged in eCommerce marketing, as it hints at the urgency of making sure that online stores tick the right boxes for satisfying millennials’ shopping habits.

The question remains, though: what exactly are those habits? Research has uncovered a fair few of them, and it’s not difficult to see how they have increasingly shaped the ways that various eCommerce outlets are arranged and set up – and how this development could continue.

Millennials are undoubtedly tech-savvy

Unsurprisingly for a generation that has grown up around the likes of smartphones and social media, millennials have proven quick to pick up on technological innovations as they emerge. For example, the CouponFollow data reveals that 45% of millennials use voice assistants for online shopping.

Notably, voice assistants are available on a wide range of devices these days, from smartphones and tablets to wearables and even the humble laptop. However, it isn’t the only reason why producing content across all of these channels, while carefully formatting the content for each, can help you to maintain the interest and curiosity of millennials considering buying from your brand.

Another crucial factor is the rise of the digital wallet, with the functionality of services like Apple Pay and Google Pay already built into various devices that millennials routinely use. Fortunately, coding your sites and apps to accept such payment methods is straightforward.

Catering for the impulsive buyer

Whereas other generations might carefully peruse all of the shopping options open to them before clicking or tapping the “buy” button, millennials are more impulsive with their online purchasing, at least in the UK and US, reveals First Insight’s The State of Consumer Spending report.

This suggests that your website’s design should be geared to reward spontaneous browsing. The Lush retail website shows how this can effectively be done, with individual products sorted into collections and suggestions rather than simply pushed to the forefront on the homepage.

Given the impulsive nature of millennials’ online buying habits, you should also do what you can to remove friction from the online buying process. This means speeding up load times and reducing how many details shoppers need to manually type into text fields on the checkout page.

Basket abandonment has remained a major issue for online retailers, as they annually lose £18bn of potential sales as a result. However, by saving shoppers’ details for their next order or, better still, letting them pay with a mobile wallet where those details will already be saved, you can encourage indecisive shoppers – millennials or otherwise – to complete their purchases.

Work to implement a future-proof eCommerce platform

Attempting to reconfigure an eCommerce website to make it more millennial-friendly can come with its challenges, which is why it could be well worth your while to consult eCommerce experts along the way. They can point out, for example, how to make your website more personalised and intelligently predictive, both facets which can also help in drawing millennials to your online outlet.

If you find yourself often stumbling, perhaps due to a lack of experience in online retail, don’t be afraid to contact my eCommerce agency, Visualsoft, to see how my team can help. Our services charge small fees per transaction rather than large upfront fees, therefore reducing the risk to you.