Millennials have different expectations when it comes to online shopping.
This cohort of shoppers—which is made up of consumers born between the early 1980s and early or mid-1990s—has grown up during the rise of Amazon.com Inc. and is accustomed to having a wealth of information instantly accessible to them. For online retailers, that means these shoppers have come to expect fast and free shipping, along with plenty of information on a retailer’s products, says Stephen Kuhl, CEO and co-founder of web-only furniture retailer Burrow.
Because more than half of Burrow’s customers are 25 to 35 years old, the retailer has several strategies to cater to millennial shoppers. For instance, it includes transparency-oriented information on its products—such as where the materials are sourced from and the quality of the wood and fabric—detailed content including videos on its site about product features and how to assemble them and free shipping. And to help the shopper feel more connected to the retailer, one of the six choices on the site’s top navigation menu is an “our story” section that explains Burrow’s value proposition, why its products are high quality and biographical information about the co-founders.
“Millennial shoppers are used to researching everything,” Kuhl says. “Information is so easily attainable online. As a result, a lot of companies that have popped up on the internet provide transparency into what they’re making. People want to know why the item they are buying is the best option.”
Burrow has plenty of company among online retailers strategizing how to market and appeal to millennials. There’s good reason for that enthusiasm: Millennials are a large and lucrative market. By 2020, 46% of consumers over 18 years old will be millennials, according to a Forrester Research Inc. forecast. Millennials are entering their prime spending years of setting up their first homes, having children and earning more disposable income. And, perhaps most importantly for e-retailers, these shoppers are comfortable buying online.
Of course, like any generation, millennials are a diverse group of consumers and there are large differences between consumers born within the same time period. For instance, a recent study by Deloitte Consulting LLP found a number of differences in the ways that high-income and low-income millennials shop. For example, high-income millennials are 24% less likely than all non-millennial shoppers to…
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