User experience is a critical component of a company website. This is especially true when you consider the fact that there is stiff competition in nearly every single online market niche these days. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling shoes or streaming subscriptions, if you want to succeed in cutting through the vast amounts of marketplace clutter, you need a good website user-experience to help your e-commerce efforts survive and thrive.
Unfortunately, defining a “good user experience” can vary depending on the demographic that you’re marketing to. If you’re trying to reach the Millennial crowd, in particular, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Always Go Mobile First
Several years ago, having a mobile-friendly version of a website was important. Now, it’s absolutely essential. Google announced that as of July 1st, 2019, it would not only consider mobile content in its search engine, but it would make it priority #1.
Mobile-first indexing reflects the predominant trend for younger consumers, primarily Millennials, to browse, shop, and use the Internet with their phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. If you want your website to appeal to Millennials, the first and the most important thing you can do is make the website mobile-friendly. With that said, make sure your site uses a future-friendly, responsive web design so it can easily and fluidly adapt to any device.
Be an Authority
In the same way that you want to be thoughtful about how you create your digital products, it’s also crucial to think about the quality of your website. While your site may not be a product in itself, it is your most valuable piece of marketing collateral and will make or break what consumers think of you.
It’s important that you use your website as an opportunity to establish yourself as an authority within your niche. Create a company blog that offers resources, answers important industry questions, and helps you to exude a semblance of competency and understanding to your customers.
What does this have to do with Millennials? Well, younger consumers including Millennials have become deeply disenfranchised with the concept of the “sales pitch.” Instead, they look for information. They want to see that a company understands its own business and is a dependable source of solutions. They want to be given value before they decide to make a purchase. If your site offers informative, authoritative content to all its visitors, it will encourage Millennials to trust and engage with your brand.
With Millennials, the tone is everything. Look for ways to help your website be more engaging, interesting, sociable, and interactive. In addition, strive to collect and utilize big data in order to personalize your customer’s experience as they navigate and use your e-commerce site.
Avoid the Sales Pitches
When it comes to establishing a rapport with Millennials, it’s imperative that you communicate authentically. This is good advice for the up and coming Gen Z crowd as well, as both generations crave authenticity, transparency, and genuineness in their interactions with businesses.
With that said, don’t use the sales pitches that attracted the older crowd. Traditional, shallow sales pitches simply aimed at generating income should be eschewed for more valuable content.
It’s important for any company interested in protecting their brand’s reputation to provide quality solutions to problems that may crop up with their products to their customers. With Millennials, this presentation of solutions typically doesn’t need to be hands-on in nature.
While Millennials will use phone numbers for direct calls as needed, for many of this age bracket, you can simply include online resources on your websites, such as an FAQ section or a live chat option to help answer their questions. You can also direct them to an email form or your social media accounts for an efficient customer service experience.
Millennials are researchers that are used to adapting to dramatic levels of change, and they’re not afraid to look up a solution on their own when given the proper tools to do so.
Create Straightforward Navigation
The concept of quick, simple, and easy navigation is important for most customers, but Millennials, in particular, don’t want to be bogged down with overly complicated or flashy website experiences.
While you can infuse your site with a unique design that is specific to your brand or product, it’s always advisable to ensure that the actual navigation of your site remains as simple and natural as possible.
Focus on Speed
The time it takes for your page to load can be a dealbreaker for many Millennials. This is especially true if they’re on their mobile phones (which is likely). With this in mind, make sure to utilize things like gzip compression for images and site builders like Squarespace and Weebly for reputably fast loading time.
Openly Espouse Your Causes
Finally, make sure to openly embrace what your company stands for. While this may have been a taboo practice back in the day, Millennials and Gen Zers are all-in on supporting companies based on their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
If you raise money to combat poverty, let it be known on your site. If you’re big on hiring from across all generations in an attempt to embrace their differences and enable a harmonious workspace, let your customers know about it.
The point is, CSR efforts shouldn’t be done behind the scenes in the modern economy. If you want to attract and retain Millennial customers, make sure that they’re aware of what you believe in as a company.
Investing in a Website for Millennials
While it’s tempting to focus your development efforts on the technological future, things including facial recognition and live streaming, it’s still important to tend to the here and now. Nowhere is this more clearly embodied than in your company’s website.
It was already mentioned and worth repeating: your site is your chief piece of marketing collateral. If you need it to attract Millennials in particular, it’s important that you take the time, effort, and resources to turn it into an online resource that is inviting to the young-to-middle-aged generation that is currently shaping the direction and trends of the modern marketplace.
We have the awesome Luke Smith to thank for this article.