Millennials & the M-Commerce Boom: Are Marketers Ready?

As with any paradigm shift, brands will either innovate and keep up or maintain the status quo and be left in the dust.
Millennials & M-Commerce

Maggie_smallBy Maggie Clapperton
Freelance content writer and strategist
Barcelona, Spain
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StackAdapt’s most recent survey report found that 53% of respondents use their smartphones to make online purchases. Of that percentage, 74% are between the ages of 18 and 34. Why should brands care about the spending habits of Millennials? Aren’t they all living in their parents’ basements?

Not so. The stereotype of the lazy Millennial is just that, a stereotype.

As these highly educated, convenience driven individuals come of age, the m-commerce boom will inevitably follow. As with any paradigm shift, brands will either innovate and keep up or maintain the status quo and be left in the dust.

Not only are Millennials the largest cohort in modern history (they outnumber the baby boomers by 15 Million in the US) they are about to enter their peak spending years. Goldman Sachs found that while many Millennials are putting off major milestones longer than previous generations, they are none the less “poised to reshape the economy; their unique experiences will change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come.”

One of these “unique experiences” is growing up in a world where their phones are their banks, their social hubs, their cameras, their music players, their plane tickets, and of course, their shopping carts. As Facebook put it, “What Millennials are doing, is what everybody will be doing soon.”

RELATED: Millennials Have Spoken: Choice-Based Marketing is the Only Future

But are brands ready to make the shift to mobile? If today’s advertisements and landing pages are any indication, not likely. According to Business Insider, “M-commerce has the potential to become a major channel for shopping and to change consumer shopping habits, but one overwhelming factor has prevented this shift. The mobile shopping experience is a nightmare.”

StackAdapt’s research confirms this. More than half of respondents who claimed at least one reason for not shopping on their smartphone cited the small screen as their biggest issue.

If marketers continue to treat mobile commerce as a miniaturized version of e-commerce, they will lose.

But small screen size cannot and should not act as a barrier to buying. It’s unlikely that mobile screens will change anytime soon. As one vendor notes, “In an age when our smartphones dominate our lives, becoming our primary access point to the Internet and the real world around us, the need for money to follow is massive… For mobile advertising to become a scaled reality, we need to rethink what’s possible when our phones include every device in one.”

RELATED: 13 Mistakes Content Creators Make When They do Native for a Young Audience

In other words, if marketers continue to treat mobile commerce as a miniaturized version of e-commerce, they will lose. M-commerce needs to break away from the shackles of its predecessor and execute on an entirely new mode of thinking — the Millennial mindset of ultimate convenience.

It is time for marketers to prioritize user experience over their own convenience.

It is time for marketers to prioritize user experience over their own convenience. Generating truly mobile-first technology requires innovation, experimentation, and above all, a painful shift in the mindset of digital marketing leaders. M-commerce is not about “optimizing” desktop landing pages, it’s about creative problem solving; intuitive and wholly new UX and UI that is so convenient it would be ludicrous to buy any other way. The digital marketers who accept this challenge will own the consumer landscape of the future.

This article was originally published on StackAdapt.com and is reprinted here with permission.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

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