Consumers want smooth connections, not transactional friction. And they want opportunities to discover and buy products in specific online contexts.
Online and mobile shoppers may have a seemingly endless shopping mall at their fingertips, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to buy. Retailers lose out on an estimated $236 billion worth of sales annually because they create difficult or frustrating shopping and checkout experiences.
Consumers aren’t digital novices anymore, and they keep expecting more from eCommerce operators. More than a quarter of consumers, in fact, own three to six personal connected devices; 23 percent of consumers have at least six connected devices. Consumers are everywhere, and they are ready to shop at any time.
That’s why it is important for retailers to meet consumers on their own terms. That might mean on a social media platform, or a well-crafted blog designed to appeal to particular hobbyists, or an event and ticketing website, or an online platform devoted to travel. The emerging trend of “contextual commerce” means serving up seamless shopping experiences for such consumers, who bring a product-discovery mindset to online activities whose primary purpose might not be shopping.
Different consumer groups do contextual commerce in their own ways, but one of the most significant segments consists of “bridge millennials.” They are between 30 and 40 years old, have an average income of $72,390 and account for 27 percent of all shoppers.
Bridge millennials make up the first generation of truly connected consumers, and they are ready to give retailers a shot if they show a willingness to engage on the consumers' terms: After all, 58 percent of bridge millennials have already tried contextual commerce. They also visit physical stores, giving retailers another shot at selling — though that store visit might just be an exercise in browsing before a bridge millennial makes an online purchase.
Connected consumers are ready to buy, as long as retailers can make the efficient, contextual sell.