What are the foundational elements of a retail website? Are they images, a purchase process, a shopping cart?
To retailers websites need to function smoothly. But end-users take those basic features for granted. To consumers, foundational elements like functionality don’t even cross their minds. They think all websites work flawlessly all the time!
End users think differently about foundational elements. End users believe that they’re features every website should have to make the shopping experience more appealing.
And no consumer is pickier than a Millennial. We remember the days of old when the internet looked like Legos on a screen, and we don’t want to go back there. We’ve gotten used to all the bells and whistles that now seem standard to us. In fact, if your retail website doesn’t have some of the 5 features Millennials consider to be basic, you risk losing our business.
#1 One-Click Payment
Some of the items I buy are carefully vetted and sourced. I stealthily lurk for weeks, watching them and waiting for the right moment, then I pounce and purchase. Other times, the whole process happens within minutes. When that’s the case, I want an immediate sale, otherwise I’m less likely to buy.
Once Millennials find an item they want to buy, you don’t want to risk losing them in a complicated or timely purchase process. To capitalize on young impulse buyers, you need to implement a system that allows them to purchase within seconds.
With today’s technology, paying for an item should never take longer than searching for it. Stored card info is a great start, but one simple click to purchase is the ultimate ease of use.
#2 Not Just Mobile Friendly; Mobile First
Millennials aren’t always shopping on their work computers while pretending to work. Sometimes, they’re pretending to work while shopping on their phones and tablets!
If you’re noticing that your website traffic is high on mobile devices (yes, you should be tracking where your website traffic is generating, you need a robust mobile platform. You can’t rely on a half-functional mobile interface to carry the entire shopping experience. Millennials demand more than mobile friendly: they need mobile first.
I can think of one site in particular that maximizes the mobile first mentality. I’ve noticed that I can access certain functionality on the app, but not on the website. Because of that, using their website is actually a deterrent for me! I want all my online interaction with them to be through the app.
#3 User-Generated Reviews with Photos
Recently, I was in the market for two items: a shirt and a couch. The shirt cost only 0.6% of the the couch, but I was more inclined to purchase the really expensive couch. Why? I could vet the couch online with user generated reviews and photos, whereas the shirt supplied only written reviews.
I didn’t just want to read reviews telling me “It’s a great couch. My family loves it,” or “This couch sucks. There’s a permanent imprint of my ass in the cushion.” I wanted to see it. I wanted to see the size of the couch in a real room; I wanted to see the color change in different lighting; I wanted proof of the butt imprint.
I’m a visual person. If I can’t view the information I want, I feel like I’m completely left in the dark, and I’m not as confident with my purchase. I’m less likely to buy when I don’t have access to user generated reviews with photos.
#4 Special Offers and Promotions
Discounted products, free shipping, buy one get one: you name it, I want it. Everybody likes a discount, and Millennials especially want to save on retail items.
I often wait for a sale before buying, and that can sometimes take months! Following that logic, Millennials would be more inclined to buy every week if you have a promotion run every week.
#5 Up-to-Date Find In Store Technology
The ability to search available products near me saves me time (I know that I don’t have to wait for shipping. I can more quickly get the item myself) and money (if I were to get expedited shipping on an item, I would pay far more than I would if buying in person).
And from a retailer’s perspective, the only way you can contend with Amazon Prime’s ruthless 2-day shipping is to get your items to customers even faster with same day delivery or carry the items in store for immediate purchase.
The biggest stipulation with find-in-store technology is that it must be up to date. If I see that an item is in stock at a store near me, and I put the effort in to drive all the way there only to find that the technology lied and the item isn’t really in store, I’m likely to never use that feature again out of spite. Find-in-store needs to be accurate.
To have a great website, you need to do more than just make sure it works. Millennials are demanding more. When websites don’t have the features I consider to be basic and foundational, I’m truly less likely to buy from them.
Are you investing in both foundational and functional features? Contact Sophelle today for help implementing the latest technology.