by Sherry Smith
Getting the technical aspects right is only half the battle of building a channel that will appeal to young consumers.
This article originally appeared in the September 2016 edition of INSTORE.
By now you’ve probably heard a long laundry list of what your website should include if you’re to grow your bridal business. Your website should be device-friendly, use top notch photos and include pricing and warranties. Your site should entice them to join your email list, offer a coupon, include videos and reviews and be easy to navigate.
Sound familiar? All too often, however, we get lost in the “technical” requirements and we unintentionally ignore the characteristics of millennials that would otherwise help us build a website that is crucial to converting them and to winning them over.
Millennials are diverse and idealistic and represent 80 million consumers between the ages of 21 and 35 in the U.S. They are attached to their mobile phones; in fact one study found that 80 percent of them sleep with their phone next to their bed. They constantly interact with their friends via text or social networking, checking their devices at least 43 times per day. Online and mobile channels are important to millennials as they hone their shopping skills by searching for the best products, services and reviews. They are savvy online customers and 68 percent of them demand an integrated, seamless experience regardless of the channel. What does that mean? They must be able to transition from their device (smartphone) to personal computer to your physical store.
Knowing that their journey begins online and understanding their key characteristics, your website should include certain features. Millennials want to be able to quickly find the information they need.
Since this is your potential bridal customer, engagement rings and bridal product should be prominently featured and all pertinent information should be readily available, especially product reviews by actual customers. Remember, millennials value the opinions of their peers.
Your website should include high-quality photographs along with detailed descriptions to convey the quality of your product and how and where it is made, including your custom bridal jewelry. If possible, show them the process and describe each of those steps, especially featuring details of eco-friendly products.
The idealism of millennials demands that you stand for something and that your company is reputable. These young consumers want to know you understand them, speak their language and aren’t going to take advantage of them. Your website should educate them about who you are and why you do what you do. Openly talk about your company’s values to build trust.
Finally, your website must make it easy to buy. The purchase process should feel effortless and simple. It’s about solving their problems before they leave the site. Offer trustworthy financing options to your customers with the payment plan options laid out. It is also highly recommended that you offer live chat to answer or address their immediate concerns.
Your website should tell a meaningful story about who your company is and what you stand for. Describe your commitment to the customer. Share information with them by offering them a buying guide that includes customer reviews. They want to know all they can about a product before they purchase it. Show where your products come from and their quality. Highlight things that make your product special, such as made in the U.S., handcrafted or environmentally friendly. Offer your customers the option to pick up the items in your store, which cements the seamless transition, regardless of the channel.