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Millennials are also consumers, with their purchasing power exceeding $200 billion dollars by next year. Naturally, this leads many companies to wonder how they can attract more millennials and cash in on their cash. Millennials, unlike Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, have a unique set of needs and wants when it comes to their online experience and remaining engaged with the content presented. As you are designing your site (or rebuilding it with this generation in mind), use these tips to create a millennial-friendly website.
Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
Companies targeting millennials will do themselves a big favor by making their website mobile-friendly. Aside from the search engine optimization benefits after Google started rewarding sites that are mobile-friendly, more and more millennials are accessing websites on their phone. According to a study by comscore.com, 80 percent of millennials own a smartphone compared to just 40 percent of people 55 and up or 68 percent of people 35 to 54. When designing a mobile-friendly website, here are a few tips:
- Make sure your website pages load quickly. Kissmetrics says, on average, people expect a load time of two seconds or less.
- Use the same content. Rather than designing two separate sites with different content, keep it the same to avoid confusing users, who might leave your page thinking they landed somewhere they did not mean to.
- Optimize for a mobile experience with swipe-friendly and tap-friendly content.
- Simplify navigation. Nothing is worse than layers of drop down menus and navigation features on a handheld device.
Offer Self-Service Options
In the 2015 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report, it was revealed that 90 percent of customers expect some sort of self-service option when it comes to fining help with a product or service. More importantly, having a self-service help option helps your company develop a favorable opinion among users, millennials in particular who are used to solving problems with technology rather than reaching out to a live customer service representative.
Millennials are also about instant gratification and being in control, largely due to the pervasiveness of technology (think “likes,” immediate answers to questions, etc.). They do not want to sit on hold for five, ten or even 20 minutes. They do not want to have to explain their problem to three different people just to get an umbrella answer. When designing your website, make sure you have a comprehensive support center with how-tos, video tutorials, and other interesting content that will also increase their engagement and overall user experience. Depending on your product or service, you may also want to include a FAQ page and monitored forum.
Design for User Experience
A quick glance as user statistics will show you that user experience is quickly becoming the differentiator between competitors, especially as technology is fostering a growing global economy. In fact, the majority of users say they would pay more for a product if they are guaranteed a good user experience and the number one reason people switch to a competitor is because of a bad user experience. Growing up in an age where not only is everything easily accessible but choices abound raises millennials expectations even higher than the average bear. If your website is slow, has items that do not load, or is too difficult to navigate, no big deal—there are literally hundreds of thousands of other sites out there where they can likely find the same information.
A poor user experience on your site means less revenue since users will go find a better site. Millennials also are not known for their long attention spans. Consider how often millennials are on their phones while doing something else, whether out shopping, entertaining themselves while waiting in line, or even watching TV at home. Design for interruptions by making your site easy to re-engage with. This means giving them just enough, but not overloading them. You also want to minimize distractions on your own site, so users can easily complete whatever task brought them to your pages in the first place. Failing to design to the millennial user experience is the number one way to give your competitors business.
Promote Social Sharing and Loyalty
Millennials love social sharing, badges, games, free stuff, you get the picture. Make sure you have all the share icons on all your pages, especially fresh content like blogs. This makes it easy for millennials to share your content with others. It is also important, if possible, to have some kind of loyalty program or rewards program where users can earn badges, points, or freebies by using your service, buying your products, or promoting your business. All of these things will also help turn millennials into loyal repeat users.
Tell a Story
“Storytelling” has become one of those buzzwords that everyone seems to be throwing around. The idea behind telling a story through your brand, and this means everything from your design elements to your blog content, is really just about improving engagement. Millennials will use products and services they feel they connect with. Telling stories is becoming the most popular way to connect with consumers (and not just millennials, for that matter) and build trust. Web design is no longer about just putting graphic elements and words on a page. As you craft your site, think about your target audience and what they would want to know about your product or service. This will help you develop personas and outline your brand story. Don’t overcomplicate it though. The basis of your story is essentially problem, solution, and success.
Wrapping It Up
Millennials may be fickle (we are just saying it how we see it), but that does not mean they are impossible to please. As you build or redesign your website, consider what matters the most to this age group: efficiency, control, and ease of use. Designing your website with these traits in mind will help you appeal to a broader user base and tap into the nearly $200 billion dollars a year millennial spend on products and services.