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The Future of Global eCommerce: Insights Into Gen Z And Millennials' Expectations

Phuc Le
August 9, 2023

As the world becomes more interconnected, global commerce continues to experience significant growth. According to eMarketer, global retail ecommerce sales reached $4.28 trillion in 2020, and this number is projected to reach $6.39 trillion by 2024, reflecting the increasing demand for online shopping options. This surge in digital commerce has opened up remarkable opportunities for online businesses to tap into a vast consumer base and drive sales.

Two key generations that play a crucial role in this ecommerce landscape are Generation Z and Millennials. These demographics hold substantial purchasing power and represent a significant portion of online consumers. According to a report by McKinsey, Millennials alone are projected to make up 35% of total luxury goods sales by 2025.

Understanding the preferences and expectations of Generation Z and Millennials is essential for businesses to effectively engage with these audiences and boost sales. Research conducted by Accenture found that 63% of Gen Z consumers prefer personalized product recommendations, while 51% of Millennials are likely to switch brands if a company doesn't offer a seamless mobile shopping experience.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF GEN Z AND MILLENNIALS IN GLOBAL ECOMMERCE

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF GEN Z AND MILLENNIALS IN GLOBAL ECOMMERCE

Generation Z, born from the mid-1990s to mid-2010s, and Millennials, born from the early 1980s to mid-1990s, wield significant influence over the realm of online shopping. A staggering 32% of Generation Z and 25% of Millennials engage in daily online shopping, underlining their digital prowess and reliance on e-commerce. Moreover, Generation Z's impressive purchasing power surpasses $143 billion USD, leaving a profound mark on the retail industry. As for Millennials, their projected income of $8.3 trillion by 2025 will considerably escalate their annual spending from $2.5 trillion, further shaping the e-commerce landscape.

In light of these remarkable figures, it becomes imperative for businesses to prioritize meeting the expectations of both Generation Z and Millennials in the online shopping domain. The rise of social commerce has emerged as a powerful revenue stream, revolutionizing the way people shop online. Furthermore, cross-border shopping, evolving payment methods, expedited shipping options, and the proliferation of online buying opportunities have transformed income-generation strategies for businesses. As such, understanding and adapting to these evolving trends are paramount.

We will delve into these dynamic shifts, providing a comprehensive understanding of how Generation Z and Millennials are reshaping online shopping and impacting businesses in the process. By grasping these emerging trends, global ecommerce seller can position themselves strategically to tap into the immense potential offered by these influential generations and succeed in the ever-evolving world of ecommerce.

THE POWER OF EXPECTATIONS: HOW MILLENNIALS AND GEN Z RESPOND TO ONLINE SHOPPING

To thrive in the competitive world of e-commerce, businesses must prioritize meeting the logistics expectations of Millennials and Generation Z. By focusing on fast and reliable shipping, real-time tracking, sustainable practices, hassle-free returns, personalized delivery options, and omnichannel fulfillment, companies can deliver exceptional logistics solutions that resonate with these influential demographics. Aligning logistics practices with the preferences of Millennials and Gen Z not only fosters customer loyalty but also positions businesses as leaders in the industry, driving success in the ever-evolving landscape of online retail. Let's delve deeper into each of the seven key factors driving online shopping satisfaction for Millennials and Generation Z.

1. Seamless Mobile Experience:

Millennials and Gen Z are highly dependent on their mobile devices for various activities, including shopping. According to Statista, as of 2021, 98% of Gen Z and 96% of Millennials own smartphones. To cater to these mobile-first shoppers, businesses must optimize their websites and apps for mobile devices. A responsive design ensures that the user interface adapts to different screen sizes, providing a smooth and consistent experience across devices. Fast loading times, intuitive navigation, and easy-to-use menus are essential for enhancing mobile user satisfaction.

2. Personalization and Product Recommendations:

Personalization is a key driver of customer satisfaction among Millennials and Gen Z. These generations expect businesses to understand their preferences and deliver tailored product recommendations. Utilizing data-driven insights and advanced recommendation algorithms, companies can suggest relevant products based on customers' browsing behavior and past purchases. Personalized content, such as personalized emails and product suggestions on the homepage, fosters a sense of individual attention, which can lead to higher engagement and repeat purchases.

3. Social Media Integration:

Social media has become an integral part of the daily lives of Millennials and Gen Z. They use platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube not only for social interactions but also for discovering products and brands. Businesses that actively engage with their audience on social media, share engaging content, and leverage influencer partnerships can effectively reach these digitally-connected shoppers. Encouraging user-generated content and facilitating seamless shopping directly from social media posts can further enhance the overall shopping experience.

4. Fast and Reliable Shipping:

Speed and reliability in shipping are critical factors for satisfying Millennials and Gen Z's instant gratification expectations. Amazon's success has set high standards for fast shipping, with many customers now expecting same-day or next-day delivery options. E-commerce businesses should partner with efficient logistics providers to ensure timely deliveries and provide customers with real-time tracking information for their orders. Transparent communication about shipping times and any delays can help manage expectations and maintain customer trust.

5. Cross-border shopping

Millennials are often drawn to unique, niche, and exclusive products that may not be readily available in their local markets. Approximately 71% of Millennials engage in cross-border shopping several times a year. This is closely followed by 60% of Generation Z consumers. Online cross-border shopping provides them with access to a broader selection of items, allowing them to discover and purchase products that align with their individuality and interests.

Millennials are primarily driven by price sensitivity and the pursuit of the best online deals when engaging in cross-border shopping. According to Retailx, in Europe, Portugal leads with 66% of consumers shopping internationally multiple times a year, followed by the UK with 62% and Spain with 59%. Consequently, it is vital for your online business to effectively expand across borders. Collaborating with a trusted 3PL company like Byrd can be advantageous for cross-border sales. byrd handles documentation requirements and ensures reliable shipping through trusted parcel companies. Our expertise enables seamless navigation of the complexities associated with cross-border operations.

7. Transparent and Flexible Returns:

A straightforward and customer-centric returns policy is vital for building trust and loyalty among Millennials and Gen Z. These generations value transparency and expect a hassle-free returns process. Offering pre-paid return labels and easy-to-follow instructions for returning items can simplify the process for customers. Quick processing of refunds or exchSustainable and Ethical Practices:

Millennials and Gen Z are conscious of the impact of their purchasing decisions on the environment and society. Brands that adopt sustainable and ethical practices, such as using eco-friendly packaging, supporting fair labor standards, and engaging in social initiatives, can resonate with these socially responsible consumers. Transparent communication about such practices on the website and social media platforms helps build a positive brand image and can influence purchase decisions.

8. Streamlined Checkout Process:

A smooth and streamlined checkout process is critical for reducing cart abandonment rates. Complicated or lengthy checkout procedures can frustrate customers and lead to lost sales. Businesses should focus on simplifying the checkout process, offering guest checkouts, and ensuring a secure and trustworthy payment gateway. Incorporating one-click checkout options or saved payment information can further expedite the purchase process and enhance overall satisfaction. To adapt to the expectations of customers, e-commerce sellers should think of outsourcing to a logistics outsourcing company. Here are some types of logistics outsourcing companies you should consider.

WHICH MODEL IS BEST FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

The best logistics model for a business depends on various factors, including the nature of the business, its supply chain requirements, budget, strategic goals, and the level of control desired. Here's a breakdown of when each model may be most suitable:

WHICH MODEL IS BEST FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

  • Third Party Logistics (3PL) Model:

Best for: Small to medium-sized businesses with limited logistics expertise and resources, or businesses looking to outsource specific logistics functions (e.g., transportation, warehousing).

Advantages: Cost savings, expertise, scalability, and the ability to focus on core competencies.

Considerations: Assess the level of control required and the need for specialized logistics services. Communication and alignment with the 3PL provider are crucial for successful collaboration.

  • Fourth Party Logistics (4PL) Model:

Best for: Medium to large-scale businesses seeking to optimize and streamline their entire supply chain while dealing with multiple 3PL partners.

Advantages: Centralized coordination, end-to-end supply chain management, and strategic focus on core business activities.

Considerations: Consider the complexity and investment required to implement a 4PL model. Ensure that the 4PL provider aligns with the brand's objectives and can efficiently manage multiple 3PL partners.

  • Fifth Party Logistics (5PL) Model:

Best for: Large businesses with complex and unique supply chain requirements, seeking highly tailored and data-driven solutions.

Advantages: Advanced technology integration, strategic partnership, and customized end-to-end supply chain management.

Considerations: Assess the cost and resource implications of implementing a 5PL model. Ensure that the 5PL provider has the expertise and capabilities to meet the brand's specific needs and leverage advanced technologies effectively.

 

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