A new generation of shoppers calls for a new approach to e-commerce shipping and logistics. Here’s what shippers should know — and what logistics providers can do to help.
Born between 1980 and 2000, Millennials are coming into their own as workers and consumers. In fact, a study from the Pew Research Center shows that more than one out of every three American workers (35%) is a Millennial. As this generation makes up a greater and greater portion of the workforce, their purchasing power is set to increase as well, with Millennial spending set to reach $1.4 trillion by 2020.
So how can companies tap into this growing consumer base? With 81.3% of Millennials shopping online at least once a month, businesses looking to adapt to this generation’s consumer behavior should consider how they can invest in their e-commerce operation. By meeting Millennials where they are and providing them with the kind of omni-channel experience they’ve come to expect, it’s possible to take advantage of a new generation of consumer spending.
However, doing so is no small task. Building out an e-commerce supply chain — one that can meet the demands of Millennial consumers who have grown accustomed to the Amazon model of online shopping — calls for considerable infrastructure and logistics expertise. Thankfully, the right logistics providers can help growing businesses and e-commerce retailers deliver a reliable and transparent experience to Millennials customers.
A New Generation of Consumer Behavior
While Millennials were the last generation of the 20th century, they’re also the first digital natives of the 21st. That’s to say they came of age with the internet, gaining a proficiency and familiarity with online interactions and digital tools naturally. As the e-commerce economy developed, Millennials developed as consumers along with it.
This generation’s consumer behavior reflects that trajectory. Research shows that Millennials now make more than 54% of their purchases online and that 67% of them prefer to shop online rather than in-store. Additionally, most Millennials make their purchases on smart devices. Studies demonstrate that 32% of Millennials shop from their computers, 25% make purchases on their smartphones, and 24% do so on their tablets.
Overall, these statistics underscore just how different Millennial consumer behavior is. While some still frequent brick-and-mortar stores, the majority look to e-commerce websites to make purchases and they tend to do so across a wide variety of devices and platforms.
The Critical Role of Customer Service
For businesses looking to tap into their Millennial consumer base, it’s not just a matter of where and how they shop, but what they expect when they do it. Millennials put a lot of stock in their relationship with brands and look to build on those relationships over time. This means that these consumers expect a higher level of transparency throughout the purchasing and shipping process and that they want dedicated customer support should problems or questions arise.
In fact, 60% of Millennials remain loyal to brands they purchase from and have good experiences with. Millennials are also more likely to share positive customer service experiences than negatives ones — a key opportunity for savvy businesses — while 74% would switch to a different retailer or brand if they had a negative customer service experience.
Accordingly, e-commerce businesses should go the distance when it comes to customer service and transparency. Millennial customers desire visibility into the shipping process and want to be able to track their orders as they approach their delivery date. What’s more, they expect seamless communication with brands during the shipping process and quick resolution for any potential problems.
How Logistics Providers Can Help
For e-commerce retailers and businesses looking to expand their online presence, Millennial consumer behavior presents strategic possibilities. However, taking advantage of this generation’s purchasing power depends on appealing to their unique consumer behavior. From streamlining the omni-channel experience across devices and platforms to investing in end-to-end customer service across at stage of the shipping process, meeting Millennial needs calls for sophisticated logistics expertise.
While larger operations may have the resources to handle these needs in-house, small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) likely need the support of an experienced third-party logistics partner (3PL) or integrated logistics services provider (ISP). By partnering with an outside industry expert, SMBs can leverage existing infrastructure and logistics relationships without having to make costly capital expenditures themselves.
With a proven track record of success in the shipping and logistics space, Primary Logistics has the resources and expertise businesses need to excel in the e-commerce landscape. Between our award-winning customer service team and strategic logistics facilities located across the country, we’re uniquely equipped to help e-retailers meet the needs of online, omni-channel shoppers.
If you’d like to learn more about how award-winning shipping and logistics services from Primary Logistics and Primary Freight, contact us today at (800)-635-0013.