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The shifting demographic: Remaining competitive in 2020 and beyond

Image of millennial friends on their smartphones leaning against a wall.
Image of millennials on their smartphones leaning against a wall.

Innovation across mobile, social, and search has propelled e-commerce further and faster than ever before. As the pace of digital evolution accelerates, what can retailers and brands do to stay ahead? As always, the consumer is central to any strategy for future growth.

Sellers will need to pay attention to who purchases are going to, not just how purchases are made. It’s no surprise that the majority of Next-Gen shoppers (aged under 25) identify online shopping as a regular part of their lives. The majority (56%) of Next-Gen shoppers purchase via smartphones. Buyers who have grown up in a world dominated by the internet and mobile apps are increasing both their purchasing power and their influence over unfolding trends. The changing face of social media and marketing is impacted by exactly how and where this new generation wants to shop. For example, online shoppers over 65 have considered purchasing almost two items per month based on following a social media influencer compared to buyers under 25 who make an average of just over four influencer-inspired purchases per month. These and other preferences will no doubt reshape which marketing, selling, and fulfilment strategies are effective moving forward.

After growing its global base to a massive 2.45 billion active users and cornering the social media market, Facebook has embraced e-commerce as its next phase of growth. Consumers are flocking to social platforms to purchase directly in-app like never before.

Facebook acquired the once-fledgling company Instagram for a mere $1 billion back in 2012. Fast forward to 2020, and the photo-sharing social site is now one of the top drivers of change among e-commerce companies. Widely regarded as one of the most effective social platforms for brands and retailers, Instagram’s shoppable posts are now used by an estimated 78 per cent of sellers. Checkout on Instagram (currently only available to US users but expected to become widely available) – a new option that lets consumers purchase products from within the social media app itself – is another example of how platforms are seamlessly blending the points of purchase with other elements to capture the consumer.

This is why now, more than ever before, having high-quality product data across all e-commerce channels is central to every strategy and expansion. From creating strong titles and description to ensuring feeds are destination compliant, having the right product data in place can impact virtually every aspect of e-commerce success.

As complexity within the industry increases, it will become even more important to centralise inventory management, digital marketing, and more through optimised data feeds. As the boundaries continue to blur and consumers set the benchmark higher and higher, retailers and brands will need the support of a robust e-commerce platform that has simplification at its core. To stay competitive, merchants need to create a streamlined experience for the shopper, on whichever platform or device they choose to shop on, and the ability to leverage product data to stay competitive and achieve the best results.

By Simon Clarkson, Managing Director, APAC, ChannelAdvisor

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