The nation’s more than 80 million millennials – ranging from age 19 to 37 – are projected to spend more than baby boomers this year. Whether they’re consumers shopping for clothing or B2B buyers researching the best SaaS provider, your website is a critical factor in determining whether they buy from you or your competition.
Here are six warning signs your website might be driving millennial customers away.
1. It’s not mobile-first. It’s no secret millennials basically live on their smartphones. One-fourth look at their phones more than 100 times a day; half look at their phones more than 50 times a day. Overall, 25 percent of millennial consumers spend a whopping five hours a day on their phones, while 50 percent spend at least three hours scrolling and tapping. Takeaway: Your website needs to be not just mobile-friendly, but mobile first.
2. It takes too long. Millennials are efficient—they want to get in and out of your website as quickly as possible and accomplish their goals. Your job: Don’t put anything in their way that slows them down. That includes mobile pop-ups, too many layers of navigation or too many options. Ideally, they should be able to get where they want to go within one to three clicks. Include plenty of white space so buttons and links are easy to click on a smartphone. Takeaway: Make sure your site loads quickly—anything longer than two seconds is likely to drive millennials away.
3. It’s inconsistent. Whether they’re using your mobile website, your desktop website or your mobile app, millennials expect a consistent look and feel throughout all channels. This generation expects to transition from one device to another without a hitch. In addition to consistent content and design, they want information they save or share on one device to be available on another, so they don’t have to reload a shopping cart or re-download a white paper when they switch from smartphone to desktop.
4. It offers limited customer service. Millennials are used to customizing their experiences, so it’s no wonder more than three-fourths (77 percent) of them expect a wide variety of options for communicating with customer service representatives. While baby boomers may be content to pick up the phone and call you, 40 percent of millennials would prefer all customer service issues to be handled online. To keep this age group happy, your website should offer customer service by phone, email, chat or text. Don’t forget about FAQs; if you sell a complex product or service, consider adding a customer forum or knowledge base to the mix.
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5. It doesn’t have enough information. Millennials may be efficient, but that doesn’t mean they’re content with getting minimal data. They carefully research every purchase, and if your website doesn't have the key information they want to decide, they’ll go elsewhere. To balance this need for data with millennials’ desire for simplicity, keep your design simple, but include links they can click through for additional product photos, videos, spec sheets, comparisons, white papers and more.
6. It’s siloed from social. Millennials rarely make purchasing decisions without finding out what others think, whether that’s their friends in the next cubicle or influencers on Instagram. Your website should be intimately tied to your company’s social media presence so millennial customers can see what others are saying about you and get input on their potential purchases. Link your social media presence to your website, and vice versa, to engage millennial customers with your business.
About Rieva Lesonsky
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN,The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.
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