Tablets designed for two-year-olds and iPads in nurseries; the next generation making its way through the school system seems to be worlds apart from any other in terms of technological advancement, so what does this mean for eCommerce? We investigate the mobile movement, and what participants will grow to expect as a consumer.
A major topic within the eCommerce marketplace right now is the mobile user. With the latest percentages at the time of writing indicating that UK mobile spending reached £8billion between 2nd November and 27th December in 2014 (an impressive increase of 55% on the previous year), who are we to argue?
Mobile seems to be taking over, and with it comes a new generation of consumer, one which will continue to evolve and shape business transactions of the future, but what does it mean for us right now, and this coming year? How can we prepare?
From Baby Mobiles, To Mobiles For Babies
We all know that the initial first steps of a child’s development are the most critical, so how do you feel about toys for toddlers designed to look like tablets and smartphones, helping to replicate the behaviour of parents. While fake cookers with plastic food are still a popular choice, I have seen children much prefer the apps and games of virtual entertainment over more “hands-on” activities.
These are the consumers of tomorrow, and being around technology from a young age will no doubt shape their perceptions and inform them of the world around them in unprecedented ways. While we talk of ‘new’ trends, they will become the norm, and already have for many users. The idea of switching between devices to shop, of needing a website format which can be applied to any device and still provide a user-friendly experience, or of the provision of a seamless experience across channels will all become second-nature to this group. The decisions we make now are crucial.
This does, of course, have much wider and more immediate implications; it’s all well and good discussing things which will be needed in the future, but a lot of these expectations exist now. The millennial group have grown up in a rapidly developing and changing environment. I have written in the past about the move towards a more tailored eCommerce experience, and the advantages that can be gained from the kind of data now accessible about the people who visit your site, but more things need to be reimagined.
Companies will have to completely rethink the way their sites are delivered to the customer and the way they merchandise. Firstly, imagery is incredibly important; people are instantly put off by sites that are too text-heavy, but images make them feel as though their entire purchasing journey is stress-free and enjoyable. They like to see what they’re buying, and then read the product information later. Plus, if we’re talking mobile conversions, images are a lot easier to resize whereas content and layout have to be considered in a responsive framework. This is why so many companies often have a separate app or mobile version designed in order to cater for the small percentage of devices or browsers where responsive is an issue. This leads to duplication – so if you don’t have a responsive version, you need one!
Secondly, if we consider a typical millennial shopping experience, they expect fluid, omni-channel continuity as part of their transactions. Accounts will have to recognise the same buyer across devices and provide real-time, consistent information for them on what products they have been browsing, which new line item would suit them, what sale items they would want, and so forth.
This is an incredible movement set amidst fast-paced technological development. We will no longer have generations separated by ideas of 20 years, but more like five, and each one will be led by the next model of technology leading the way.
What will this mobile generation expect? What do they need? What are your competitors doing? What needs to change about your omni-channel strategy? These are the vital questions you need to be asking yourself as a business, and you need to make sure that you are making the most of the merchandising opportunities which are available – if you fail to prepare, then prepare the fail.
If you'd like us to help you find these answers, why not take a few minutes to view our Omnia eCommerce solution page.