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Smartphones highlighted as crucial to embracing millennial consumers

16 March 2018 - 12:10 by Paul Tissington

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Retailers need to focus on their mobile offerings if they are to win over shoppers aged between 21 and 34, according to a new study from GlobalWebIndex.

It found that over two thirds of millennials see their smartphone as the device which is most significant in their daily life. In comparison just 16 per cent said the same of their laptop computer.

That is not to say that younger consumers are ditching other platforms altogether; on average they use 2.8 devices for web browsing and safe shopping online.

A typical millennial will spend close to four hours on the internet in a given 24 hour period. So there are plenty of opportunities for retailers to engage with them, as long as they cater to mobile users first and foremost.

The study also looked at how millennial consumers find out about products, with 49 per cent harnessing traditional search engines to do so. Meanwhile, social media platforms are influential for 44 per cent of the under-35s, with shoppers looking for information and reviews through sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Image-sharing services including Instagram and Pinterest are also cited as being powerful players in terms of shaping consumer trends. This is why the biggest brands are keen to make their products visible in the social sphere, not just through traditional search engine ranking.

Respondents were asked about the features of an e-commerce outlet that make them more likely to commit to a purchase. Fifty eight per cent said that the ability to get their order delivered free of charge was the biggest selling point of any site offering safe shopping online.

Retailers that impose shipping fees are potentially alienating a large slice of their audience. And as millennials now have a lot of spending power, it is not sensible to ignore their needs.