The millennials have entered the economy – and they’re speaking with their smartphones. In other words, they are using their smartphones to make more purchases. As of 2016, 18% of online purchases were made with a smartphone. Which means that if you don’t want your business to get left behind, you need to adapt.
The smartphone as we know it today may only be a little over ten years old, but it’s already proven to be a game-changer. Let’s take a look at how it’s changing the way consumers shop.
Big Shopping Days Aren’t As Special
If you’ve ever ran a brick and mortar store and opened its doors on a big shopping day like Black Friday, you’ll know how crazy these days are. You’ll also know how profitable they can be for you.
But while such big shopping days won’t totally lose their magic (they’re way too much fun for that) being able to shop on the go anytime, anywhere with our smartphones means that we no longer have to be a part of the mad rush on a big shopping day. Instead, we can open our phones and check for deals and make purchases online.
For you, this means that you need to make sure you’re promoting your sales and discounts online.
People Are Paying For Stuff With Their Smartphones
Cash has always been King, and we’re not saying it’s going to become redundant anytime soon. But how many of us actually pay for goods with paper money anymore?
Consumers have been paying for goods and services with cards for a few decades now, while the 21st century has seen the emergence of contactless payment cards. Now, people can pay for goods and services with their smartphones.
There are several apps that let customers pay with their smartphone, such as Square, a peer-to-peer payment system that turns an individual’s smartphone into a cash register of-sorts. The app is already mega popular, with users able to use the app to check-in at a store and settle a bill.
Unless you start integrating apps like Square, you could fall behind the competition.
Shopping On Our Mobiles Is More Seamless Than Ever
90% of Americans owned a phone in 2016. They may not have all owned a smartphone, but you can see the direction this is heading in. Not only is shopping online convenient, it’s also more seamless than ever before.
Online businesses know how important it is that they make their websites mobile responsive. They know how important it is that their site looks awesome enough for visitors to want to enter, stay, shop around – and make a purchase.
Responsive themes are a major factor here. Mobile stores now look incredibly clean, elegant and are super easy to navigate – which is exactly what consumers want.
The more user-friendly your store is, the more you’ll keep those mobile shoppers coming back.
Smartphones Let Us Research While On The Move
A few years ago, when we entered a brick and mortar store, and all we had to base our buying decisions on was whatever was in front of us.
In 2017, armed with a smartphone, the shopper can enter a physical store, bring up their phone – and do some quick research that helps them make a more informed decision. They can look for special deals, find brands, and compare prices with other stores.
Thanks to the smartphone, buyers no longer need to make rash shopping decisions. What does this mean for you? Make sure that your website is in order.
Smartphones Personalize The Shopping Experience
“Hi, do you need some help?”
It’s a friendly greeting from an assistant that so many shoppers are used to.
However, shoppers no longer need to visit a brick and mortar store to get the same kind of friendly assistance. Thanks to the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), online stores can now cater to the smartphone shopper by means of a chatbot that’s on hand to assist them 24/7.
Chatbots are friendly, helpful – and, thanks to their AI, they know more about the customer than a team of assistants on the shop floor ever could. Chatbots personalize the shopping experience, ensuring the customer finds exactly what they’re looking for.
With millennials spending over 5 hours per day glued to their smartphones (and with generation Z not far behind), it’s imperative that you adapt to their shopping habits and demands. They want speed, convenience and easy access. If you haven’t already adapted, now is the time.
Michelle Deery is a content marketing grinder at Heroic Search, Tulsa. She loves writing about digital marketing and sharing the tricks she’s learned along the way.