Product category changes how consumers shop for goods
Studying the behavioral trends of your customers is critical to the success of any retailer, as it can help you determine the best ways of engaging customers. However, it's easy to overemphasize a few data points and make incorrect assumptions based on this information.
For instance, there is a popular notion that many merchants cling to, which suggests millennial consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 prefer shopping online compared to other channels. While that's true to some extent, a recent report from Urban Land Institute illustrates that isn't always the case.
In fact, how and where consumers shop depends largely on the products they want to buy.
The research polled young shoppers about which platforms they use while researching potential purchases and found they value both eCommerce websites and conventional brick-and-mortar stores.
When it comes to cosmetics and personal care items, for example, 57 percent of millennial customers research and shop only in stores. At the other end of the spectrum is sports and equipment accessories, with 32 percent making these purchases online without visiting a store. Then, you have 50 percent of customers who research online and buy in a store when making electronics purchases.
Adjusting eCommerce operations for multichannel shoppers
The Urban Land Institute report highlights the importance of convenience to millennial consumers – they were brought up with the Internet being a core communication and research tool in their lives, but that doesn't mean they don't appreciate brick-and-mortar, mobile and other shopping channels either. Retailers can support this type of behavior by offering options such as in-store refunds for items purchased online, delivery for products bought in stores and other such features.
The other takeaway here is that prevailing notions and trends aren't always correct. You need to know your customers and position yourself to serve their specific needs, regardless of whether they fall in line with industry reports and forecasts. ECommerce software such as SalesWarp can help you consolidate customer data from a variety of retail channels and allow you to adjust your eCommerce operations to fine-tune the shopping experience.
The way consumers shop is changing all the time, and as retail grows more complex, it's up to merchants to keep up, or else they'll lose ground to their competitors. ECommerce solutions can help streamline operations and manage customer data to help merchants tackle the ever-changing retail landscape.