Alright, let’s get this out the way. Millennials and Gen-Z have ruined everything. Now that that’s out of the way, we can get to how they’ve changed the way e-commerce brands handle sales, marketing, customer engagement, and advertising.
We’ve seen and read enough articles online about how Millennials have ruined this industry, or that industry. In all fairness, the way they’ve changed the e-commerce industry has had quite a positive impact for businesses and vice versa. Millennials and Gen-Z make up a majority of Instagram users, growing in their careers to have better purchasing power. In fact, a study has revealed that 81 percent of millennials are shopping online on a weekly basis.
Essentially, with such a large number of shoppers online, it changes the way you’d handle e-commerce and retail. The pandemic and the waves of lockdowns have exploded the use and growth of online shopping. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how digital spaces have added value to businesses, helped companies stay afloat during these times, and how physical spaces aren’t always a 100 percent necessary to run your business. But rejoice! Because this does have quite a few positive implications for businesses.
All you need to look at is the recent trends in advertising and marketing on Instagram. The endless scrolling that Instagram users go through pretty much everyday exposes users to hundreds of ads, and the lines between posts and ads become quite blurred.
Sure, Amazon does have a firm grip in the e-commerce space, but while Amazon functions on a planned shopping model (where users pretty much know what exactly they’re looking for, and search for those products), Instagram relies more on impulse buying. So while Amazon is established in the market, it lacks Instagram’s appeal of seamless advertising with the ease of online purchase.
The pros of online shopping really do outweigh the cons. Yes, quite a few shoppers do love the experience of physically going to stores, actually seeing and trying out the products they’re buying, and speaking to a sales person to get more details of the product they’re buying. However, with the rate at which e-commerce is scaling, businesses (and these platforms) are finding better ways of offering better online shopping experiences to customers. The most obvious pro is accessibility. Customers are no longer limited to shopping in stores specific to their city. You no longer have to go through the disappointment of finding some great products and realising there are no stores in your city. In fact, it’s also become the case that you might find some great international brands as well, really love their products, and realize, “Yes! I can get this shipped to my place!”
According to ToughNickel, the biggest advantage is convenience. But besides the convenience, you have the bonus of not facing any undue sales pressure, wider variety, as well as easy comparison of prices to find the best deal for yourself.
While Instagram may not solve the problem of physical spaces and physically trying out products, it does solve the problem of making your business accessible online, and giving them another channel to shop.
Plus, with Instagram's APIs now open, giving you the ability to build out chatbots and integrate with other apps, it solves the problem of communication, with chatbots being able to answer FAQs, give customers purchase options, instant information about their orders, and provide a seamless transition between chatbots and human interaction.
As mentioned earlier, the number of users on Instagram along with the impulse to buy stuff they come across randomly while scrolling makes Instagram one of the best spaces to be present in, especially considering the shift in shopping habits by the younger generation, regardless of whether you’re a new business or not.