What We Can Learn from Millennial Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

July 19, 2018 7:31 pm

There’s no such thing as a typical ecommerce entrepreneur. First of all, the barriers to entry are low for selling online. Anyone with an internet connection, an idea and a working knowledge of retail can technically launch a store. There’s no need to lease pricey commercial space, stock up on a full inventory of goods, or hire a sales staff.

Still, each seller brings their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a look at what we can learn from millennial ecommerce entrepreneurs.

Your Store Should Address a Pain Point

Do you ever stop to think about the motivation behind certain products and services? Some seem to exist just to make money or promote a brand. But others solve a genuine problem—which just goes to show the creators and sellers understand the consumer experience and how they fit into it.

Many millennial ecommerce entrepreneurs have proven to be adept at identifying customer pain points and addressing them. As Econsultancy notes, during a recent panel featuring three members of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, there was a common theme: “When asked about the drive behind starting a new business, each speaker highlighted some form of frustration rather than any influence or inspiration from the existing market.”

This suggests millennial merchants may have an eye for identifying what’s currently missing from a given market—meaning they can move to fill a niche rather than trying to reinvent the wheel as the world has known it. The takeaway? It’s always worthwhile to examine your unique selling proposition before launching an online store. If you’re having trouble summing up what sets your business apart, it may benefit from more intentional differentiation.

Take Advantage of Social Commerce

Sales used to happen almost exclusively on websites. Along with a shifting emphasis on convenience, consumers are increasingly seeking out flexible options. Enter: Social commerce. The key is that the path between consumers and transactions is getting shorter. For example, a consumer could now tap a sponsored post on Instagram to head directly to a product listing. A merchant can configure their cloud ecommerce platform to work with Facebook checkout, enabling consumers to shop without leaving social media. Ecommerce sales are happening inside messaging apps too.

Many young entrepreneurs have demonstrated their aptitude for creating a frictionless sales funnel. This entails catering to the rising contingency of consumers shopping on mobile devices and integrating interactions into the apps people already use daily.

Customer Relationships Matter

The millennial entrepreneur behind luxury accessories brand Blumera uses its ecommerce platform to create a journey—one that focuses on fostering lasting customer relationships rather than one-time transactions. The lesson here? Loyalty is key. Every choice should aim to boost customer lifetime value, from your store’s navigation to your branding, customer service interactions and checkout process.

At the end of the day, it costs less to retain a customer than it does to acquire a new one via marketing campaigns. Therefore, it behooves merchants to audit their purchasing journey from start to finish. Are any aspects of your store or operations alienating customers? Are you doing enough to encourage first-time buyers to return? How can you reward loyal buyers, so they’ll engage in word-of-mouth marketing? Your success begins and ends with customer relationships. Hone in on your target audience and deliver an unforgettable experience.

What can we learn from millennial ecommerce entrepreneurs?

Solve problems, offer flexible buying options and develop client relationships.

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