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E-commerce improvements must be made to retain millennial customers

11 July 2016 - 11:51 by Mike Price

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Retailers need to look carefully at their digital offerings in order to ensure that they appeal to the under-35s, since the spending power of millennials is increasing by the year and some firms risk alienating younger consumers.

This is according to the results of a new survey from Signal, which found that while a fifth of people enjoy browsing e-commerce sites from portable devices, the majority still believe that desktop and laptop computers offer a better overall experience.

In part, this is as a result of screen size, since the larger displays of traditional PCs are better suited to playing host to large, high resolution product images. And since this effect is difficult to replicate on smartphones with five to six inches of display real estate, retailers may need to find new ways of convincing millennials to part with their cash while they are on the move.

The suggestion posed by analysts is that multichannel retail is the true solution, combining safe shopping online with the in-store experience, so that younger customers who are mobile-savvy and still willing to visit bricks and mortar outlets get the best of both worlds.

Report spokesperson, Neil Joyce, told Yahoo Finance that digital strategies must also incorporate aspects of real world retail in order to avoid compartmentalising e-commerce as a separate entity. Many people are already shopping online whilst in-store, so this is a trend being fuelled by consumers which retailers must, of course, follow.

That is not to say that retailers are entirely without agency in this matter, as Joyce suggests that if they take the reins and give customers more choice and flexibility, they will be able to satisfy the needs of millennials, without alienating older shoppers in the process.