Five Things You Need To Know to Prep for the Future of E-Commerce

Despite the presence of well-established online retail giants like Amazon and Zappos, the e-commerce world is a still rapidly shifting and developing space. In many ways, brands and consumers alike are still catching up with the potential that the technology available to them allows. Here we’ll take you through five of the big things that could change the e-commerce game.

1. The Fight Against Showrooming:

This March, a specialty food store in Brisbane, Australia gained international notoriety for posting a sign in their store announcing that visitors would be charged a five-dollar fee for browsing without buying. Why? To combat showrooming, the practice of looking at products in-store to then purchase for less online. According to Adweek, 60 percent of consumers are intentionally showrooming and less than ten percent of consumers are buying from the same website as the store they are using to showroom. For digital natives (i.e. Millennials) that number drops to less than five percent. The browsing fee plan of the Australian store may have been misguided (charging people to browse your goods is not a permanent solution to the problem if you want to keep people coming to your store), but the fact remains that big-box and small business retailers alike are trying to combat showrooming. Best Buy says that the practice is “now dead to [them]’ thanks to year-round price matching policies, a method which Target has also adopted. Brick and mortar isn’t going anywhere, but it is certainly going to have to adapt to a world where buying online is starting to make more sense to many buyers. Which brings us to…

2. A Mobile App Revolution:
More and more of e-commerce will be going mobile. A recent study from comScore also found that 86 million Americans are using their smartphones to shop…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "GoPro does a great job appealing to my generation because they convince regular people that they are adventurous, like many college kids like to think of themselves." –Male, 22, MD

Facebook continues to evolve to keep up with social platform competitors attracting younger users. The site has announced changes to their standalone chat app Messenger that will transform it into a platform that third parties can develop content and services for, including games, hotel bookings, tickets, and peer-to-peer payments. The new Businesses on Messenger feature would allow users to chat with brands to make purchases and change orders, and could make shopping a more personal experience. Facebook will also be adding the ability to chat with memes and GIFs, features that have proved popular with young consumers on other chat apps. (re/code,Fast Company)

Millennials are wary of investments, and generally anxious about their finances, and some have turned to new services that let them take baby steps into the financial world. More traditional institutions have certainly taken notice. Northwestern Mutual recently acquired LearnVest, a startup that offers free and paid financial planning services including articles, advice, and access to an expert for guidance on spending and budgets. The purchase is the latest in a trend of financial tech companies being snapped up by older, less digitally savvy brands. (FortuneBusiness Insider)

While many startups and sites are working to combat cyberbullying, one app is receiving an enormous amount of backlash for fostering the behavior in high schools. Burnbook allows users to join communities, usually around a school, remain anonymous, and post on topics of their choice. Although the app encourages “jokes, fails, wins, shout outs, revelations, proclamations, and confessions,” posts have been used to target specific people and groups, and threats have been made to at least one school. Some parents and teens are trying to use the app to spread positivity, but those posts don’t seem to outweigh the “gruesome things.” (Mashable)

Toys “R” Us will begin to sell an experience alongside its products with the hope of regaining their footing in the toy industry. Discount options like Wal-Mart and Amazon have hurt the chain’s sales over the past few years, so new plans to revamp stores will add physical play areas and more technology for kids to interact with. The retailer wants to be a place “where kids want to go and play,” and their new prototype store will open later this year. (Bloomberg)

For better or for worse, technology is becoming an intrinsic part of childhood, but boys and girls might not be growing up with the same tech experiences. A new study of parents of kids ages two to nine found that in many cases, parents give their children different devices depending on their gender. Sons were more likely to be given smartphones or gaming devices while daughters received more tablets (73% vs. 65% for boys). Parents were also more likely to use tech to calm down sons, with 48% using a device to help soothe boys when they are upset, compared to 37% for girls. (Kidscreen)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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