Ships in 5-7 business days…

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:

  1. Build genuine relationships with online Millennial shoppers
  2. Encourage public reviews
  3. Increase conversation between users
  4. Be price sensitive
  5. User multiple platforms
  6. 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

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4 Responses to Ships in 5-7 business days…

  1. James says:

    Stephanie,

    You make some excellent points. I can’t remember the last time I went to a brick-and-motar store to actually purchase something, with the exception of Target. Your analysis of Millennials purchasing patterns and power is spot on. Companies such as Amazon have literally democratized the retail landscape causing a paradigm shift that favors the consumer. The convenience of shopping online is just to easy to pass as it allows Millennials to bypass the headache and stress of driving to the mall, fighting for a parking space and dealing with crowds of people. Shopping can be done in the comfort of one’s own home or at a coffee shop – just to name a few – and is enhanced via social media.

    The advent of social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow consumers, especially Millennials, to have greater purchasing power than ever before as brands have partnered with social media outlets to track consumer trends, views and purchases outlets to advertise their respective products in newsfeeds. Brands have optimized their social medial presence by embedding links directly to their sites with special offers that make purchases even easier, which may or may not be a good thing for Millennials and their checking accounts. Furthermore, smartphones have made it increasingly easier to make purchases online as they save consumer credit card information and can literally make purchases on the go and purchases can be made anywhere without ever stepping foot into an actual store.

    Additionally, companies like Amazon make purchasing online even more enticing as the e-commerce giant employs specific algorithms to predict what shoppers “want” before they want it. It also helps that they rarely charge for shipping over a certain dollar amount and can have your purchase delivered to you within 24-48 hours. If brand names like Macy’s, J.C. Penny’s or even Nordstroms are to survive the new e-commerce world, they must incorporate social media into their marketing strategies to capture the purchasing power of Millennials, otherwise they risk going out of business within 5-7 business days.

  2. Paula Manuel says:

    I am guilty of recently purchasing clothing items without reading consumer reviews. Because the site was advertized consistently on Facebook, and many of my friends “liked” the page, I made the purchase and I was woefully disappointed when the items were not as advertised.

  3. Violet Ward says:

    Stephanie,
    I am a Gen X’er. Back in my day, the shopping network was the big rave.
    In regards to shopping online, I too find myself easily drawn into the retail apps- especially when I am bored or have some time to kill.
    I would like to add another item to the list of online marketing strategies: Inclusion of a video of the product or garment would be ideal. Video would be especially useful when shopping for shoes or clothes. A visual of the product being modeled would help with my decision process. A video and a good review would encourage me to checkout my virtual shopping cart and hit the purchase button.

  4. Kimberly Tucker says:

    Millennials unite! I too am hyper connected by social media. I remember when the “Sponsored” content first arrived in my instagram feed… I definitely took a double take because it was so relevant to what I like to see anyway, I almost didn’t notice that it was sponsored… and that is excellent targeting! I assume there are a ton of analytics and reporting generated on my behavior and the brands I follow and engage with in order to sell those sponsored posts to relevant brands but I am sometimes thrilled with what I see so I don’t even mind. That’s the beauty of marketing – if you’re doing it right, your audience thanks you for it with a purchase, right? Its wasted on the rest!

    Great post… Thank you for sharing!