We’ve got some good news for you! In a 2018 survey of 6,000 consumers worldwide, consulting firm Accenture found that 82 percent of millennials PREFER brick-and-mortar stores. Unlike handshakes, 9-to-5 jobs, relationships and avocado toast, Millennials are NOT ruining brick and mortar retail!
With that said, it’s important to acknowledge that the beginning of the consumer’s purchase process has changed.
Nowadays, no one makes a major purchase without researching online first, so connecting with the next generation of consumers is as simple as having an eCommerce enabled website with the information they need to make an informed purchase.
Ethical consumption is important to today’s consumer. They insist on thoughtful descriptions, complete product details, helpful photography and smartly curated collections. Consumers might need to know where and how products were made, and whether labor standards and fair pay were involved. They may want to know if the fabric was milled in the USA or whether the leather is vegan.
If your website can’t answer their questions, they’re likely to purchase from somewhere that can.
How does your site stack up? If answering that question left you feeling nervous, you probably have some work to do. We’re here to help!
You can turn online browsers to in-store buyers with these 5 tips:
1. Your website is your first point of contact with today’s consumer. Give it the love it deserves.
Your eCommerce enabled website should feature smartly curated collections and product pages packed with thoughtful descriptions, complete product details, and helpful photography.
No one - and we mean no one - wants to shop your templated catalog site. It’s ugly and hard to navigate. Fortunately, there are many reputable providers of eComm enabled, stylish, and useful website templates, and one reputable provider of the catalog data management solution you’ll need to make scaling your website easy as pie. (Spoiler Alert: It’s us. If you’re interested in more information, fill out this form).
Which reminds us, if the only way customers can contact you is by calling you on the phone - you’re going to have a bad time. Along with your physical address and phone number, offer an on-site contact form, email addresses that include a “Mailto:” tag, and better still - chat. Facebook Messenger is a great solution.
2. Collect email addresses and communicate with your list on a regular but respectful basis.
Collect email addresses with a pop-up. Don’t bombard the people on your list. Send an email newsletter once a month with pertinent company information, and an email in advance of sales events. If you know what you’re doing, offer a discount when a new customer first joins your list. (Pro-Tip: Tell them that to collect the discount, they’ll need to show the email to an in-store sales rep, then blow their socks off IRL. (IRL means “in real life”, FYI.)
3. Accept the new paradigm and meet shoppers where they’re at. (Spoiler Alert: It’s not through traditional advertising channels. That includes Facebook.)
The best way to reach consumers these days is through your website and social media presence. Grab your grandson, and tell him to sign your store up for Instagram. Baddy Winkle has 3.8 million followers, so we don’t want to hear your excuses. Once that’s done, read this tutorial on Shopping Enabled accounts on IG.
4. Sell a well-curated and regularly updated collection of products.
More is not always better. Millennials are bombarded by more choices than you can possibly imagine. It’s exhausting. Kids These Days have been dealing with The Internet and its myriad distractions and strange left turns since they were knee high to a grasshopper. They don’t want MORE choices. They want BETTER choices.
Figure out who is shopping at your store, and only stock items that get them excited. It’s that simple.
5. Develop a personal relationship with your clients.
Back in the day, you had a personal relationship with the retailers in your neighborhood. We bet you can remember that time, and a time in the recent past when you had better relationships with the people who shopped at your store.
It shouldn’t be any different today. The only difference is that now your “neighborhood” is the internet. With a great website, robust email list and social media presence, you can begin reconnecting with the people and community your store serves and find your authentic, (internet enabled) voice.