As summer approached my online shopping hit a new high. I found myself purchasing bathing suits I found on Instagram from sponsored advertisers and utilizing shoe websites such as Just Fab. The ability for me to find all my shopping needs in one place and with my card already connected to my Samsung S8, the convenience was too easy to pass up. Millennials are finding themselves shopping online more than ever before (Gasca, 2015) and 47% said their purchasing decisions are directly influenced by social media (Rohampton, 2017). Millennials lives are completely integrated into the online and social media world and more so than previous generations (Rohampton, 2017) and use online reviews from peers, celebrities, and friends when determining which products to purchase. A study showed that consumers that use social media as part of their shopping process are four times more likely to spend more money on purchases and 29% more likely to make a purchase that day (Rohampton, 2017). When hearing these figures, it made sense to me, being the typical Millennial that I am, my online shopping has increased throughout the years and my time spent in stores has dropped.
However, the ability to still purchase brand names online with services like Amazon and almost any retailer that utilizes an easy to use app has given me and other Millennials the ability to remove the drive to the department store or mall and have everything shipped within 5-7 business days. Brands more than ever before need to utilize integrated online marketing strategies, specifically social media, to ensure they are not missing out on the Millennial generation’s purchasing habits. Specifically, Instagram offers users the ability to see posts from brands such as Michael Khor’s, Tilly’s, and Target while they scroll through their daily news feeds. Instagram will link the brand’s website in the post so Millennials have the ability of shopping with literally one click. Researchers are also recommending that brands promote their products by creating special hashtags and utilizing advertisement that feels user-generated that appeals more to the Millennial generation (Rohampton, 2017).
While experts recommend for brands to utilize social media more than before, they also caution brands to be conscious of negative reviews and remarks. Studies have found that Millennials tend to pay more attention to negative comments and reviews and this has a direct impact on purchasing decisions (Rohampton, 2017). While one of my bathing suit purchases was not as satisfying as the rest, I found myself actually making a comment on one of the pictures displaying my purchase and letting other consumers know the image and the product were not the same and my satisfaction level was low. This connectivity between Millennial social media users can alter other users purchasing decisions even if the two consumers do not know one another. In fact, a study found that Millennials are 3 times more likely to turn to social media when making purchasing decisions (Rohampton, 2017).
So, for brands looking to really capture and grab that Millennials attention online and increase their e-commerce business Forbes and Rohampton (2017) have found a few special bullet points for small and large businesses to implement in their online marketing strategies:
- Build genuine relationships with online Millennial shoppers
- Encourage public reviews
- Increase conversation between users
- Be price sensitive
- User multiple platforms
- Millennials care about causes, utilize this tool.
Next time you find yourself purchasing something online see if the brand correctly utilizes the previous recommendations and determine if they are specifically targeting Millennials and how successful were they? Did you fall into the trap like myself and purchase 3 bathing suits and 3 pairs of shoes in one day?
Gasca, P. (2015, December 07). 8 Shopping Habits of Millennials All Retailers Need to Know About. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253582
Rohampton, J. (2017, May 08). How Does Social Media Influence Millennials’ Shopping Decisions? Retrieved June 19, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimmyrohampton/2017/05/03/does-social-media-influence-millennials-shopping-decisions/#19b34dbe4cf3