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Connected Shopping and Why it is Driving Traditional Retailers Nuts
If you keep up on developments in the world of search engine optimization (and who doesn’t?) you’re aware that recently, mobile searches began to outnumber those done from a desktop or laptop. As a result Google released an upgrade to their algorithm that stated: Henceforth priority would be given to those sites that are mobile-friendly. Why are we telling you this?
Because as it turns out it’s not just the SEO world that mobile devices are using as their sock puppet, retail shopping – long under assault from Amazon and the like – is now entering a whole new era of shock and awe as it scrambles to adjust to something called “connected shopping”.
What is Connected Shopping?
“Connected Shopping” is an umbrella term used when discussing how consumers interact with brands here in the digital age. There are 3 generally recognized types of connected shoppers, those being “home shoppers”, “home shoppers with mobile experience” and “mobile shoppers”. For the purposes of this article we’re going to focus on the group that is driving the connected shopper experience; the mobile shopper who, 9 times out of 10, belongs to the demographic group commonly called “Millennials”.
How Are Connected Millennial Shoppers Bringing Retail to Heel?
- By wresting control of the shopping experience away from retailers.
- By subscribing to online services like grocery deliveries at a higher rate than their parents.
- By surfing the net until they find free shipping. (Beware those that holdout in this regard.)
- By being the first generation to stay completely out of retail stores during the holidays.
- By engaging in “showrooming”. Which is the act of finding something you like in a brick and mortar store and then searching online for a better price and helpful reviews on products (with free shipping of course).
These practices have traditional retailers scrambling to adapt with some finding it all one too many bridges to cross and folding up their tents. What’s more: even if you have a really expensive website it doesn’t mean you’re going to connect with these connected shoppers. So here are 3 quick tips you may want to heed to stay relevant to connected Millennials:
- Put the shopper front and center: Do some market research and find out what people want from a product/website like yours and then cater to that shamelessly. No buts.
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly: If your site hasn’t made the switch to responsive or adaptive design you’re losing connected shoppers. Guaranteed.
- Building an experience: If your website is not providing Millennials something that tickles their grey matter you’re likely going to lose them.
So what’s the takeaway here? Well it seems that millennial shoppers are taking full advantage of having high speed Internet available everywhere they go. As such they’re forcing brick and mortars to up their game at a time when many are barely scraping by. Where it all goes from here is anyone’s guess, but for everyone’s sake let’s hope there’s a middle ground to occupy between all brick and mortar and all online shopping.