Life as we know it came to a standstill because of the pandemic, and retail businesses were forced to rethink their e-commerce strategies to stay afloat in a crowded market. Add into the mix the millennial buying power, which is far greater than that of Generation X, and we have the dawn of new-age retail. Though Gartner reports an 8.7% decline in global smartphone sales in 2020 owing to economic uncertainty, the rise in the number of new e-commerce websites and mobile apps has not slowed down.
Taking into account the buying power of millennials and Gen Z and the need for a solid online offering in a post-pandemic world, let’s look at the new-age shopping experience the hip and sassy millennials and Gen Zers expect.
Predict the future? Nah, just what we want to shop
An e-commerce website should be able to pop up product suggestions that pique the interest of digital shoppers based on data from past orders, search, etc. It’s like having a best friend who knows exactly what we like and gently showing us the way. Gartner predicts that by 2021, 77% of retailers will have made a survey for having an AI system in place. The modern digital user demands AI-enabled personalized shopping experiences that prioritize smooth user interfaces. They are used to this elsewhere online, why wouldn’t they want it for their shopping too?
Digital natives like Gen Z and savvy millennials neither have the time nor the patience of past generations. They want things pronto. So, as a retailer, you must help conserve their time and effort by providing search results of products that best match the keywords they type into Google. Unique filtering and sorting features that show a list of highly relevant products to browse from will increase overall cart value and ensure the actual sale.
Track, track, track
No one really wants to go through the whole online buying process only to get a call from the backend folks saying that the product was out of stock and the system didn’t register the transaction. Real-time inventory tracking is an imperative requirement that e-commerce businesses can’t ignore. Another brownie point feature is to allow the buyer to opt for SMS/email notification for every update made in the order until the time it is delivered to the customer.
Shop on the go
The new shopping slogan is ‘anyplace anytime’. Therefore, it is definitely worthwhile for a retailer to invest in a mobile application as it reduces a lot of pain points for digital shoppers. Mobile apps are agile mini-versions of their predecessors, the web apps. They can be designed to carry more or less the same features as web apps. Once installed, mobile apps are easy to use and allow users to enjoy an uninterrupted fluid shopping experience.
Service with a smile (and data)!
Retail consumers look for customer service that is quicker with a satisfying resolution, and shorter TAT of tickets. A high-performing, AI-enabled chatbot with great microcopy is a great innovation tool to handle millennial traffic. It can be designed in such a way that the system can allow human intervention as and when required.
Buy it. Flaunt it.
Unequivocally transparent product ratings and reviews are yet another way to convert a sale. Since digital natives live on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, social media buttons on your eCommerce site can allow them to flaunt their purchases and product reviews on their personal handles. This will increase brand awareness and recall and even make you go viral, if you play your cards right.
Tiny but powerful nudges
Abandoned carts are a common sight for an e-commerce marketplace. Subtle reminder emails about incomplete purchases and wishlisted products are a good way to make the sale come through. Another approach to catching your potential buyer’s attention is through a notification on drops in price, and emails on discounts and sales. These can be in-app notifications or push notifications from the app on the user’s mobile device.
Payment made easy
Retail websites with a seamless and synchronized payment gateway ensure the sale doesn’t fall through the cracks. Smooth returns and quick refunds will boost customer happiness despite the product not meeting expectations and will make them give your e-commerce site another go.
These features can help retailers boost their e-commerce shopping experience to adequately serve and delight millennials and Gen Z.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) offers retailers all the requisite features to create a new-age shopping experience under a single SaaS suite. Previously called Demandware Commerce Cloud, SFCC can be easily implemented as it cuts out any infrastructure needs. ‘Einstein’, the Salesforce AI, comes with a wide range of features, including customer behaviour analysis, prediction-driven sales, automated keywords updation, personalized shopping experience, marketing analysis, and chatbots.
As an SFCC partner, we handhold retailers in their journey to migrate to an e-commerce cloud solution. See how we can help you embrace the all-important transition towards a futuristic shopping experience worthy of the millennial.
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