Everyone knows that online shopping is on the rise and this has unfortunately been hurting brick and mortar retailers. Many big name retailers have been posting disappointing year on year results, including Macy’s, J.C. Penny, and Kohl’s and others. Sales at Amazon were up 28% from last year.

 

What/who is causing this increase in online shopping? Millennials are driving the shift, with millennials making 54% of their purchases online compared to 49% of other age-groups, and the percentage of purchases made online has gone up year on year for all age-groups. However, all is not lost if you own a brick and mortar store. Here are three things that you need to know to stay competitive:

 

  1. Millennials shop online, but are more likely to choose the “Buy Online, Pickup in Store” option if it will save them money, whether it be due to not having to pay for shipping or an in store discount. An astounding 88% of millennials said they would consider picking their purchase up in the store to save $10. The best part is that not only does this save the shipping cost but it also drives traffic to your store opening up the possibility for more sales.
  2. Smartphones are millennials’ #1 method of connecting to the Internet to check deals and make purchases, and the reality is that they are comparing the prices of your products with Amazon and Google even while they are inside of your store, with 46% comparing on Amazon and 44% on Google. . Keeping up to date with the latest prices of online retailers is necessary to ensure that you never lose a sale because a buyer could get a better deal online.
  3. Millennials are very sensitive to identity theft and gift cards are considered the safest method of purchasing items online. 64% of millennials believe that gift cards are the safest digital payment method to use. Offering gift cards or other non-credit card payment options, like Paypal, can help a retailer attract buyers away from Amazon and other online retailers who are looking for a safer shopping alternative.

 

Understanding the shopping habits of millennials is crucial in today’s market when more and more purchases are made online every year. While brick and mortar retailers are on the decline, these tips might just help your small business stay ahead of the retailing giants.