According to research by Accenture, by the end of the current decade the Millennial generation will displace baby boomers as the biggest consumer spending group in the United States, accounting for approximately 1.4 trillion in spending by 2020.
Now consider that information in conjunction with these three facts:
1. 74% of Millennials have made at least 1 mobile purchase
2. 19.4% of Millennial shoppers have been in a store and purchased an item on their mobile phone from from a different retailer while still in the store, which was double the rate of other demographics.
Can you see what I'm getting at here? Mobile shopping, or m-commerce, needs to be a strategic focus for companies across the retail supply chain now, in order to remain relevant and financially viable in the future. However, "easy to strategize, hard to execute" is a pretty common description of the m-commerce strategy for most retailers and as we all know, when a retailers struggles, the brands they carry also suffer.
Enter Spring, a new mobile shopping app that boasts a resume of investors that reads like a whose who of fashion, tech, and venture capital heavy hitters. Spring is brilliant, and selling through their marketplace-cum-mobile-department-store should be on every brand's "to do" checklist. Here are the reasons selling through Spring is good for your brand.
Superior User Experience
From a distance, you probably couldn't tell the difference between your Instagram feed and the Spring shopping app, and that's a good thing. Scrolling through the product assortment through Spring is everything a mobile shopper dreams about: it loads quickly, it's responsive, and users can scroll through products at random or easily redirect to the brand page and see of all the product offerings available. The app requires minimal information from shoppers, which studies have shown is an effective strategy for minimizing cart abandonment. It's like tumbling down a user-friendly rabbit hole, complete with automatic notifications when product quantities are running low.
Product Images, Optimized
The featured image of the "Aubrey" dress by Equipment originally appeared on Peace Love Shea, a popular fashion blog.
Let's refresh: product images are really important. As we wrote previously here, great online shopping experiences require diverse images in order to eliminate the need for a tactile shopping experience. One of Spring's differentiators is the use of images that go beyond the standard flat or model shots used on e-commerce sites. Many products' feature images were originally created by popular bloggers, celebrities, or satisfied customers, re-enforcing the social-media-esque vibe that makes Spring so appealing to the "selfie" generation: 55% of millennials say the visual aspect of mobile shopping is one they could not live without. Product images are crucial because they offer consumers a well rounded view of products that can make up for the loss of the tactile benefits of shopping in a brick and mortar shop.
Exclusive Product Offerings & Sales
If there's anything millennials love more than takiing pictures of our own face, it's exclusivity and sales, two things Spring offers in spades. Many of the products available on Spring are only available through the app, automatically adding value. In order to maximize these benefits, users also receive automatic notifications when the items they've favorited go on sale, or when quantities are running low. Let's remember, millennials are a generation who sports an hour-a-day online browsing habit, but we also purchasing less, thanks to a shitty economy and low salaries. Automatically being notified when the things go on sale is appealing, to say the least.
Curation is Key
People often associate ecommerce strategies and successes with a huge assortment of products, thanks to Amazon and other similar marketplaces, but the truth is, sometimes it can be just as effective to go in the opposite direction and offer a tightly curated selection to attract consumers. Millennials are accused of lacking "brand loyalty" but in fact we are a generation that is loyal to a different type of brand: our own. Thanks to blogging and the rise of social networking sites like LinkedIn, it's never been more important to cultivate a personal brand, and one of the easiest ways to do so is to emulate the ones that already exist: highly curated product assortments allow millenial shoppers to appropriate a style without working too hard to create it. Like most retail websites, Spring offers daily curated shopping experiences under the "discover" section, but they take it one step further: each brand on Spring offers about 5-15 items, the perfect size assortment to communicate a brand's vision without overwhelming the casual shopper.
Bye-bye shopping carts, hello swipe-to-buy
Studies show that cart abandonment decreases when retailers require less information at check out. With Spring, shoppers input their shipping and credit card information once, and can simply swipe to the right and enjoy the convenience of a one step checkout. Impulse purchases have never been easier.
With a spotlight on individual Brands, the cream always rises
Remember folks, product information is the Millennial generation's version of a personal shopper. We rely on detailed descriptions for our online purchases the way our grandmothers' relied on their favorite shopgirl, and when you sell through Spring you're in control of your product information and your shipping and return policies. That means that unlike selling through a department store or similar retailer where every brand is represented uniformly product information and shipping strategy, the brands that offer high quality detailed product information, multiple images, and extras such as free shipping and free returns will immediately differentiate themselves from brands that don't. Not only are you likely to outsell the competition, but shoppers have the opportunity to parse out and align themselves with these brands in the future: brands that have superior product information and offer free shipping or a free return label are brands that I'll keep my eye on in the future, on Spring and off of it.
Multiple surveys, like this one at Instart Logic reveal that the majority of Millennials prefer browser based mobile shopping to shopping apps. Despite that, many retailers are investing time, manpower, and money in perfecting their mobile apps, often at the expense of things that will increase sales, such as developing unique, detailed, rich-media product information.
Spring has been called the "world's best mobile shopping experience" and it's easy to see why: it utilizes everything we know about optimizing mobile shopping in one streamlined app. Despite being launched only a few months ago, Spring already boasts 23K followers on Instagram, and thanks to many flattering features by publications like Vogue, Elle Magazine, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal and strategic product offerings like a "Beyonce" branded store, that number is only going to grow. Use Spring's m-commere acumen to your advantage to gain millennial consumers: there's no doubt that the brands who are saavy enough to join them now will see a huge payout for years to come.