What to do with your unwanted Christmas presents

giftsEvery year the same thing happens at Christmas time. People receive gifts that they don’t actually want and the cycle of people finding something to do with them continues. Often the gifts are given with the best intentions but fail to hit the mark. This means that people are then left with the decision on what to do with the gifts. No matter what they decide, it’s always one of those really tricky things that you don’t quite know how to approach. On the one hand you want to appear grateful for the present, but on the other, the person got you a Christmas gift that you don’t really want.

Firstly, so you don’t hurt their feelings, just act as if you like it and thank them for it. If it’s something they’d expect you to wear or have on display then the best thing to do is display it when they come around or where it once or twice when you’re with them. That way they will think you like the gift, even if you quietly can’t stand it.

If of course, you just want to get rid of the gift and they won’t know, then there are some things you can do with the unwanted present.

Regift your unwanted present.

If you’ve found yourself in the unfortunate situation where you have a gift that you don’t like, then you can always regift it. There are a few things to consider when doing so though. Firstly, you need to make sure that there is no chance that the fact you’ve regifted it will get back to the original giver. If it did then they could be extremely offended and it could get back to them. Regift it to someone outside of that group who doesn’t know the person who originally bought it. Make sure that when you regift it, it’s in good condition and nothing has changed. If you can, you may even want to reuse the wrapping paper, but if you do this, then it’s best to ensure that it looks brand new. If there are any marks, then tape some ribbon or a card and that will conceal the fact that it’s a regifted present.

When you regift it though, be careful to only give it to someone who is likely to enjoy it. There’d be nothing worse than the same present being regifted a second time.

Sell the gift.

If you don’t want a present and you can’t think of anyone to give it to, then why not sell it? Make some money from it. Selling it will allow you to make some money. If you are selling, then just like regifting, be careful to ensure that the person who gave it to you won’t find out. If you’re selling it on an online auction website, then the best thing to do would be to use a fake account that isn’t linked to you to sell it. That will ensure that they don’t find out and you’ll be able to get rid of the gift quite easily.

This is trickier if the item is rare and a one off. If that’s the case, then rather than selling your unwanted Christmas gift, hold onto it and then when it goes up in value you’ll be able to reap the benefits. Potentially by this stage, the person who gave you the present will have completely forgotten so you won’t need to worry about it.

Donate it to charity

The option, if you’re concerned about your conscience is to donate the present to charity. Think of it this way, there are some people in the world who don’t get presents. Some people would be grateful with anything. Just the very idea of getting a present would please them. Why not take the gift you don’t want and give it to a charity or put it under a shopping centre Christmas Tree next year so that someone else can get enjoyment out of it.

The other thing about giving an unwanted Christmas present to charity is that if the person you originally gave the present to does find out, they’re less likely to be annoyed about it because the gift is now going to someone who will truly enjoy it.

Modify it

This one may not be as obvious, but if you don’t like your gift and you don’t want to get rid of it, then why not remake your Christmas gift. Turn it into something that you will enjoy. For example, if you were given a green top but prefer purple, then colour it. If you were given a chest of drawers om a dark colour but your décor is light, then colour it. If it’s a long skirt but you prefer short skirts, take it to a tailor and you’ll be able to get it designed into something that you will enjoy.

These are just some of the options for you if you’ve been given a Christmas present that you don’t like. Let us know if you have some others that we haven’t thought of. The other option is simply to exchange the item if you know what store it came from.

Trends to look out for in 2017

2017-trendsEvery year there’s a new trend and a new product that everyone wants to buy. Looking back in 2016, there wasn’t a major product that was on trends. There are technological, retail payment and entertainment trends, but no single product in particular that stood out. Commercially it was a bit of an average year for brands. This article will take a look back at the trends of 2016, and what we can expect in 2017.

Despite that, looking back on 2016, there were some crazes that took off. The social media and online trend was the Pokemon Go app. Theapp revived the TV show from the late 90s, Pokemon. Players would use the app to catch Pokemon in an area. The only downside was that you had to go to certain locations for it to be effective. If you were home for example, it was unlikely that you would catch a Pokemon, unless of course you had several flatmates that were also interested in the game.

2016 saw many TV programs revived, the most recent one being the Gilmore Girls, which originally ran between 2000 and 2007. The revival was a major success, with audiences calling for the show to be revived for another full season. It is not yet known if this was happen. Due to the success of the Gilmore Girls revival, calls once again started for a Friends and Sex and the City reunion. This is despite the Friends cast members saying multiple times since the series ended in 2004 that it’s not the right time for it to come back. Jennifer Aniston, who playedRachel Green drew attention to the fact that during the show’s run, people used to go to coffee shops with their friends, but due to the rise of mobile phones that’s no longer the case. Although the show may work if it was revived, it is unlikely that it would so I don’t think we can expect a reunion in 2017. That fuelled questions of whether or not Sex and the City will come back again. That answer is a little less clear, with cast members, most recently Kim Catrall, also known as Samantha, hinting that it is possible.

If we really think about it though, is it possible? The cast have just passed the 50 mark, so it’s unlikely that audiences would tune in to watch a group of 50 year old women prowl for men.

Gone are the days when retailers could just have bricks and mortar stores. Those days went a few years ago, but that is becoming more and more pronounced as time progresses. With higher amounts of people utilising the internet and mobile apps for their online shopping, it’s increasingly important for businesses to offer their products online. More businesses are doing so, and payment methods are changing. Of course there is still credit card and PayPal, but other methods like
AfterPay, an interest free layby type scheme where you pay the deposit and then get sent the product, are becoming popular as retailers try and get an advantage over their competitors.

When you’re not in the running it’s hard to keep your audience or customers’ attention, and nobody knows that more than those in the music industry. With international superstar Taylor Swift taking a break, that paved the way for soul sister, Adele to take centre stage and announce her world tour, which strangely, appears to be more popular than Taylor Swift’s, with tickets selling out worldwide, and extra shows being added. Either she is more popular, has a different audience with disposable income, or people want to see Adele because she doesn’t tour as much as Swift.

Swift has however just released a new song with former One Direction star, Zayn Malik so 2017 could be another successful year for Taylor Swift.

Speaking of music, Apple upset music fans this year with their decision to remove the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. There are now rumours that Samsung is going to do the same thing next year, so we may see phones become smaller and smaller, and cords disappear. That wouldn’t be a bad trend and would certainly solve the issue of tangled cords.

What are your predictions for 2017?

Why using Marketplace sites is good rather than going direct to a Business’ site

online-marketplaceOver the last few years, we have seen the rise of marketplace websites. Marketplace websites, for those who don’t know, are essentially a collection of companies or brands, that come together on one website. Such websites include Tarocash, Rebel, MenuLog, Booking.com, My Chemist, Graysonline, Archfashion, Surfstitch and many others, countless in fact. When you use a marketplace website, there are so many advantages that you just don’t get when you go directly to an individual company’s website.  You may not know what those advantages are, so we’ve created a list to let you know why you’re better off using these sites than going directly to one retailer.

Most people are time poor these days and don’t have the time to go to every single store that exists on the internet. They may even struggle to go to one store because of all that’s involved. You have to think about parking, go through the crowds, and then find the product that you want.  Depending on where you live, that can add up to several hours of time, and even after all of that you may find that you do not get what you were looking for, so you’ve actually wasted the time.

Well, with marketplace sites that’s not an issue. You simply run a search online for the products you’re interested in buying and go to the marketplace site. Do another search on the site for the product you want, and you’ll come up with a list of options in less than 5 seconds (depending of course on how fast your internet connection is). When you’re there, you’ll be able to compare the prices of several brands, against the features. This enables you to make a better-informed decision rather than being limited to one brand in a location.

We’ve previously mentioned in blogs that when you buy online you have access to brands that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to due to geographical limitations. When you use a marketplace site you’ll get access to brands that aren’t in your geographical area and brands you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of. That will broaden your horizons and broaden your choices.

When you buy online, you don’t always know that the product you’re getting is quality or is going to be fit for purpose. It’s not always easy to get a refund or your money back after you’ve bought a product online. In some cases, the retailer you’ve bought from is overseas so they’re not governed or bound by Australian law. When you buy on a marketplace site, they tend to have a set of rules they expect the stores who use their platforms to abide by. If those stores do not abide by those marketplace rules then they are kicked off the platform and effectively stopped from trading. That actually gives you more rights than you would have if you dealt with them directly. It also protects the retailers because the marketplace site acts like a third party. If you like, you could almost consider them to be a governing authority.

When you go directly to a retailer you can’t compare prices. You may see a price and think it’s the best price for a particular item, but in reality, it may not be. You could find yourself paying 2 or 3 times more than you should. Take, for example, the recent Adele concert ticket sales. Many people bought tickets at the full rate, rather than doing their research. If they had done some research they would have seen that there were Adele tickets available in other cities for a lower price and they wouldn’t have to pay the premium. For household items or technology, like an iPhone, then buying through a marketplace site allows you to find the best price on the market, not just the price at the most popular store. That means you can keep more money in your pocket and won’t be overcharged for the same item. It gives you more rights and freedom as a consumer.

These are just a few of the reason why you should use a marketplace side rather than going directly to a retailer. There are of course so many other reasons, which we’re sure you’ll find out when you buy from them. If there’s some that you think we should know then send us an email and let us know.

Benefits of Shopping Online

benefits-of-online-shoppingChristmas can be a very extensive time of the year, with people spending around $1079 on gifts according to Moneysmart. That doesn’t include the cost of travel or any Christmas meals. That’s just gifts alone. For many people that’s a weeks wages, which can take its toll on people’s bank balances. Many people find themselves getting into credit card debt and then later being slugged with the interest during the year, so they actually spend more than just the cost of gifts.

There are of course ways that you can save money on your Christmas gifts. You can purchase them online, which will give you a range of benefits that you just won’t get in store.

When you shop online you’re opening yourself up to a whole world of options that you wouldn’t have if you were walking down the main street of your local city. Instead of just having 5 – 10 suitable stores to choose from you could potentially have hundreds, if not thousands of suitable stores to choose from. The great thing about that is that with choice comes competition and supply. The greater the supply, the lower the price. That means that if you are on a budget, you’ll find it easier to save money.

You can also save yourself having some awkward conversations in stores. How many times have you been in a retail environment and you’ve found yourself being followed by a sales assistant? It can be annoying and when an assistant is on your tail you may find that you spend money that you don’t want to spend and that you blow the budget. That isn’t an option if you shop online because you are shopping from the comfort of your own home. You can shop without interruption and that means that you can get through your shopping much faster than if you were shopping in a physical store. You also won’t have to deal with crowds or out of stock items because if one website doesn’t have an item you want, you can simply quickly type in another domain and you’ll be able to get it elsewhere. This is excellent for people who are time poor and can’t get away from the office during the day to go Christmas shopping. That will save you from disappointment as well.

Online retail shopping is generally cheaper than shopping in physical stores. Online stores tend to offer greater discounts around Christmas time and you’ll find yourself saving substantial money. According to The Guardian, you’ll be able to save up to 50% off the already discounted price. Online retailers can offer lower prices because they have lower overheads and don’t need to pay as many wages as those running physical stores. As it gets closer and closer to Christmas time you may also be able to get free gift wrapping and delivery, saving you up to $20 – $30 depending on the item that you’re buying and where it’s being shipped. Another cost you won’t need to fork out for is that of parking. Parking can be up to $10 per hour in a major city like Sydney or Melbourne, so when you shop online, you avoid those parking charges and that can really help the bank balance if you’ve already spent a lot on your gifts, or it could leave you with more money to spend on gifts.

People tend to be price conscious, and as briefly mentioned, you can find yourself saving money if you shop online. This is because of the lower overheads but it’s also because rather than just going to one or two stores, you can compare with many more so you can get the best price on the market and that could save you money. Some stores even offer to price match if you find a cheaper price elsewhere. You can often do this while still getting the same quality as you would in a traditional retail environment.

If you’re one of those people that leaves their Christmas shopping to the last minute that’s not a problem. You can shop online on Christmas Day which means you can take advantage of Boxing Day sales. It’s a well-known tradition that these sales tend to start on Christmas Day. Physical stores are closed on Christmas Day because of legislation, however that legislation does not apply to online stores, so if you find yourself in the mood for shopping on Christmas Day, you can. This is great for those of you who received cash or vouchers for Christmas Day and want to spend them.

Preparing for Christmas

christmas-preparationEveryone knows that the Christmas period is often one of the busiest periods of the year for businesses and that means you will need to plan in advance so that you deliver the best quality service to your customers.  If however you’re a customer then it’s really important that you plan your Christmas purchases in advance so that you avoid disappointment at Christmas time.

We mentioned in a previous blog that you need to ensure you have products in stock and that if you don’t, your customers will not be happy. If you advertise a product as being in stock, but it’s not then although it’s reasonable for your customers to wait a few days for the product, if it’s going to be longer than that you need to let your customers know BEFORE they place the order, or at the very worst, right after the order has been placed. Don’t wait until a couple of weeks after they’ve placed the order to let them know you can’t provide it.

It was said in last week’s blog that it would be bad customer service and leave people with the wrong impression of your company. That holds true. Failure to keep your customers informed of product delivery will just annoy them and potentially lead to even the most loyal of your customers walking away.

When a customer walks away once, and goes to another retailer, online or otherwise, that shift away from you once, could potentially stop buying from you all together and that could also cost you other customers and no business, online or otherwise wants that so ensure you only sell products you have in stock, and keep your customers informed.

Christmas is a busier time for all types of retailers, including online. That means you are going to have increased needs and require increased staff numbers to ensure you meet your customers’ needs. Although you may not think it’s necessary in an online retail environment because you aren’t dealing with customers face to face, it is still worth hiring extra staff to cope with the increased demand. You do not need to hire them on a permanent full time basis if you only have a short term need. You can instead plan for this period by hiring the right number of staff. Even when you’re running an online store it’s important to have enough staff to cater for customer requirements. Those staff will be in the warehouse and they’ll be in your distribution centre, because even as an online retailer those requirements are the same as retail outlets.

As a customer, most stores anticipate and plan the Christmas rush. There will be increased demand and pressure on retailers and postal services. Ultimately that means you need to order your products earlier than you normally would so that they will arrive on time for Christmas Day. A good rule of thumb is to order a few weeks before Christmas. That will allow for any shipping delays if the retailer needs to order the goods in, and it will allow for potential delivery to the gift recipient, although, to cut down on transportation time, you could get the item delivered to them direct rather than getting it delivered to you first. That will save you considerable time.

There are always crowds at Christmas time because people leave their shopping until the last minute. They don’t tend to plan in advance so that can also lead to disappointment three days before Christmas when people do all their shopping. It doesn’t have to be that way though. You can buy throughout the year, and that way you will not only get all the products you want, you will also avoid significant disappointment and will not be left wondering what you’re going to get people for Christmas. There’s nothing worse than receiving a gift a few months late, so if there is someone you’re buying make sure you buy in advance, especially if it’s a popular product like an iPhone or something else that is likely to sell out by the time Christmas rolls around.

If, of course you do leave your Christmas shopping until the last minute then you should set a spending limit and stick to it. If you don’t, it would be very easy to get caught up in the Christmas madness and spend way more than you intended to, or worse yet, buying what you don’t need. That said, if you see an item on sale, why not save it for next year if it’s an item that is likely to remain on trend for a considerable time period.

These tips should help you as a retailer deal with the Christmas rush, and should also help you as a customer so that you don’t need to worry about missing out on the ideal product for your friends or family members.

October means Christmas is Near

october-christmas-shoppingWell it’s now October and if you’re a retailer that means that you’d better start preparing for the Christmas rush. There’s only two months and one week to maximise your sales and if you’re an online retailer then not only do you have competition from local businesses, you also have competition from online retailers and websites such as eBay and Amazon. We’ve compiled a list of the top five ways you can prepare for the Christmas season so that you get as many customers through the metaphorical door as you possibly can.

Firstly, it’s really important that your SEO is good. For those unfamiliar, SEO is shorthand for search engine optimisation. That’s how well your website appears on Google. There’s a saying that if you’re not on the first page you might as well not exist and that the second page would be the ideal place to hide a body. The reason is, nobody looks at the second page and beyond. Only the first page matters.

The best way you can ensure you have a high ranking is that you use searchable terms. Nobody is going to search “image 43826388372” but they are likely to search for terms such as “best Christmas gift ideas” so when you’re updating your site, use that term and similar for your alt image text and your keywords.

Its also really important that you have good online content. The reality is that a website with only 20 words is unlikely to be found by Google. You’re best to have at least 300 words per page and include searchable terms but don’t use the terms too much because that can be counter productive and hurt your ranking.

Next up, you need to make sure you have your Google keywords right. If you don’t you could find yourself wasting money and not getting a lot of return on your investment. That impacts any business’ bottom line but especially small businesses who often run very tight margins. Target your keywords really carefully. By doing so you’re more likely to reach your target market and you reaching your target market you’ll increase your customer base. You don’t want your customers going elsewhere. There’s a lot of money to be made at Christmas time but you need to ensure you market yourself correctly.

It’s essential that when you do your social media marketing in the lead up to the Christmas rush, you target your ads very carefully. Google Analytics can help you out with this. You see, you may think your market is Group A but it could actually be entirely different. Target your advertising on Facebook and other social media sites very carefully. Of course, one other thing to bare in mind is that you should post your ads at the time your audience will be online. It’s no good posting ads when your audience isn’t online. That will just lead to significant wastage and cost you in the long run. That’s the last thing you want. Monitor your competitor and mimic them if you can but ensure you have a point of difference as well.

One point of difference is reliability. How many times have you read in the news that people ordered a product for Christmas yet they didn’t receive it in time or worse yet, they didn’t receive it at all? Make sure that you only advertise products you have in stock or make it clear on your website when people can expect delivery. If you have only 50 iPhone 7s in stock then ensure that your website reflects the true quantity. There’s nothing worse than when a customer buys a product online but can’t get it for a few weeks. It can be really off-putting for them.

These are just a few ways that you can use the Christmas rush to your advantage and increase the number of customers you get through the door. There are of course many others but these tips of SEO, social media marketing and stock levels will get you started on your way to a lucrative Christmas period.

Online shopping is constantly evolving and growing after several decades of operation

E commerce is constantly evolving and growing after several decades of operation. Today we don’t think of it as a big deal, but what was it like when it first came about? It may seem like online shopping has only been around for the last ten or so years, but were you aware that it actually came about in the late 1970s.

Originally e-commerce, which includes online shopping commonly known was set up for communication between customers and businesses. It evolved considerably since then.

If you’re Generation Y or older, you’ll probably remember the impact Napster had on the music world in the late 90s. Napster was a company which owned a music file sharing website, where people could transfer music saving them the need to go to a physical store and buy a CD, or in that time, a cassette as well. Napster revolutionised the way people interacted with their music and paved the way for other businesses to enter the e-commerce market. Napster had broken down the barrier between the idea of online shopping and people actually being willing to do so and seeing benefit in doing so. The immediate benefit in Napster’s case was that people could buy individual songs instead of full albums, which enabled them the opportunity to only buy the music they wanted, without buying what are commonly known as album fillers.

Over time, people’s willingness to conduct business online changed, and in the 1990s, online banking was introduced into Australia. It looked very different to what it does today. People would take a floppy disk and install software on their computer which gave them the option of checking their balances and making transactions. Unlike today, where internet banking is free, there was a considerable cost involved.

Below Commonwealth Bank’s first website, courtesy of research company, Canstar.

commonwealthSource: http://www.canstar.com.au/online-banking/history-of-internet-banking/

Today their website looks dramatically different.

todaycommonwealth

 Source: www.commbank.com.au

The site has significantly advanced features and more than half of people have used internet banking in the last year. People’s willingness to embrace e-commerce goes further than that. They’re also willing to conduct their internet banking on their mobile phones when they’re on the go.

Of course, e-commerce isn’t just about banking. It’s also about online shopping. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 56% of Australian internet users had used the internet to make a purchase. This was in 2009. That number today would be much greater.

That provides a huge opportunity for businesses to capitalise on a completely new market that they previously didn’t have access to. Online shopping allows people to make purchases at a time that is convenient for them. They are not limited by traditional opening hours. If they’re unable to leave their home or live in a rural area, they’re not limited by geography either. They can purchase from stores in other locations, which gives them more choice. Online shopping has enabled people access to international retailers. The impact of that has been dramatic. Retailers such as Sephora, Zara and H & M have entered cities in Australasia as a direct result of that online shopping behaviour. Those retailers can then save on freight chargers, and consumers benefit from having their favourite stores in their own backyard.

Of course, on the flipside, while it’s great for international retailers who want to expand, it’s not so good for local retailers who don’t have the capacity to expand. They face increased competition and that has hurt their bottom line, and in some cases led to store closures. A recent example of a retailer which floundered was Dick Smith Electronics. They had been in the market since 1968, and after 48 years of operations closed their doors earlier this year because they couldn’t compete with online prices and competition. Changing technologies had rendered many of their products redundant and they’d failed to establish themselves in a new niche.

To a lesser degree, department stores like Myer, David Jones and banks have also closed stores and branches because more and more business is being conducted online. Although this is generally a good thing for consumers, the downfall is that people are losing the human element of shopping and they are not seeing items prior to purchase.

Another impact of the emergence of e-commerce is that everyone thinks they can set up a store and be successful. They’re under this illusion that they’ll have access to a huge market. The reality is somewhat different though. There is only so much money in the economy, so with more and more players in the market competing for the dollar it is harder to get a share of the pie.

Of course, online shopping and e-commerce opens a raft of possibilities for consumers and innovative businesses, and they can take the opportunity, but they need to be aware that they need to market their products and services more wisely and that competition is much greater than it was when there were only bricks and mortar stores to compete with.

What to know when Shopping Online

what-to-know-when-shopping-onlineOnline shopping can be a wonderful experience but there are things that you need to know before you shop online. Although the majority of websites are genuine and you will have a great experience shopping online, there is the odd website that is dodgy. We will also share with you some tips to help you get the best possible deal on your purchase.

There are some things you should look out to see that a store is secure.

If the store is secure then it will have a padlock. That padlock indicates that all details received through the site will be encrypted, which means that they are not available to any third party sites or possible hackers. It means that your information will be treated with absolute security and cannot be stolen or used for purchases you do not give consent to.

Another way to identify if a site is genuine is to establish if the website has a physical address or phone number listed. If it’s genuine it will, and you will easily be able to get hold of the site administrators, or at least search for information on the website that proves their credibility.

To ensure your security, the website should have a login area where you can see previous purchases. In addition, they should also send you an automated email following your purchase so you can easily track it and keep a record for future reference.

Be careful about the information you give when you are creating an account. Even if the site is genuine that doesn’t mean the information cannot be stolen. Don’t just give the website any information. Only give them what you need to, otherwise it could be easy to defraud you of money.

That also means you shouldn’t use public terminals to make financial transactions. That includes internet cafes, or public WIFI. Anything sent over the network could be stolen, and once it’s stolen there’s no way to control what is done with the data.

This one could be a bit outdated because more and more sites are using pop ups, even legitimate sites, but a genuine site should not have any pop ups, or if it does they should be for certain products and services. Any website that has pop ups for gambling or weight loss pills is likely to be an insincere site and you should not purchase from it.

When you’re shopping online, the last thing you think about is returning the product, but on the off chance you do need to return the item you’ll want to know what the store’s return policy is. A genuine site will always have a Terms and Conditions and Return Policy section to the website. This will ensure that consumers retain rights in accordance with the Fair Trading Act.

When you’re shopping online you should also read the fine print. There have been cases where people have purchased items and then little have they known, they’ve been signed up to subscriptions or auto purchases. You should always read the terms and conditions to avoid this happening to you.

If you’re buying designer clothing or brands online, the website should always offer a certificate of authenticity. If it doesn’t then you shouldn’t make the purchase. People are frequently fooled by knockoffs online so if in doubt the simple thing is to just not make the purchase. That will avoid disappointed or being scammed in the future.

If you follow these security tips then you are sure to have a great shopping experience. Of course, there are other non security related ways to have a great experience, but they are a topic for another blog.

How to market to consumers online when loyalty is difficult

How-to-market-to-consumers-online-when-loyalty-is-difficultFor years, all we heard about was Generation Y and how we needed to market to them. Of course, it’s been about a decade now and a new generation has emerged, Generation Z, and like every generation before them, they are harder to market to. Retailers, especially online retailers much approach them differently to how other generations have been approached.

The difference between Generation Z and other generations that came before them is that Generation Z has greater access to mobile phones and the internet. That is the first problem.

With greater access to the internet and technology Generation Z has more choice at their disposal. If they don’t like the stock in one store, they can simply look online for another clothing store or electronics store. The possibilities are endless.

Increased choice also means that they can simply go to a new retailer if they don’t like what’s on offer.

Loyalty programs no longer work. There is so much choice available. Generation Z, despite their infatuation with social media do not want to hand over their details to retailers to be mass marketed to. Traditional techniques don’t work. Basically, if it doesn’t make their life easier, or could complicate their life in anyway then they don’t want to know about it.

Generation Z is heavily influenced by what their peers say. If a product has a bad review online then that is really hard for a retailer to come back from, even if they discount it to counteract the negative review. It poses a real challenge. Retailers, or any business for that matter, has always needed to work hard to maintain their customer base, however when people can share their negative experience just as fast as it took place, retailers really need to work to keep their customers happy.

One bad review can undo months, or even years of hard work and this generation isn’t quick to forgive. Although they don’t place emphasis or value on loyalty, they do want to be able to trust their retailers. In an age when governments can’t be trusted that is even more important for Generation Z.

This behaviour has partially been shaped through the time in which they grew up. Unlike Generation Y, which grew up in a relatively good economic climate, Generation Z has grown up with a recession and it being much harder to obtain employment. These events mean they are less likely to part with their money than other generations. They want to know that what they’re buying is good value and that they will not end up worse off if they buy the product.

That could be through interactive promotions, similar to Pokemon Go! Many cafes, across the world capitalised on the trend by offering Pokemon Hot Spots. They were seen as hip and cool, and gained access to customers they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. Retailers need to think outside the square and be quick to respond to, and anticipate the next trend.

At the moment the Olympics are on, so it would be worthwhile for online retailers to offer promotions related to the Olympics. Businesses need to keep up to date with what is going on in the world otherwise they’re going to be left behind and will be perceived as not knowing what they’re doing. Generation Z is less forgiving of that type of behaviour than other generations.

The biggest difference for retailers is that unlike previous generations, Generation Z is the first who truly has the world at their fingertips. They can literally access every single product in the world at the tap of a phone and know the best price, the most popular trend. No other generation before them has grown up like this.

In a nutshell, if you want to appeal to Generation Z you need to:
1 – Follow current trends.
2 – Tell the truth and be honest.
3 – Ensure that you have positive reviews. That means you will need a web presence. Basically if you don’t have an online presence you might as well not exist. If you can’t be Googled then how will people know you’re legitimate?
4 – Don’t bother with loyalty programs. Generation Z doesn’t have the patience for them. They want convenience rather than annoying cards and other monitoring material.
5 – Offer value for money.

If you follow these tips then you are sure to win the hearts of Generation Z and successfully sell to them online or in a physical store.

Different online shopping habits of various Generations

generationsEveryone approaches online shopping differently, but were you aware that every generation has a different behaviour when it comes to shopping? Some generations are thrifty and don’t like to spend much money, while others life in the moment saying YOLO (for those who don’t know, that means you only live once).

As a result, marketers must cater for these different behaviours and with the world of online shopping that can be both trickier, and easier at the same time.

For starters, millennials and baby boomers are living in smaller spaces which means they don’t need as many items for their home as previous generations. They can get by with much fewer items for their home.

That said, there is another side to the story. Millennials are moving out of home and must therefore buy furniture for their new apartment or house, most likely a house though if they live in a major city in Australia.

With the rise of fast fashion and cheap outlets like Zanui, people do not want to spend huge amounts on furniture and will often hunt around for the cheapest item they can find.

There is however an opportunity for retailers to capitalise on this and market their products towards these groups.

Baby boomers are willing to spend money in other areas.

According to research, they’re investing money into homewares and travel, so there are opportunities for online stores to promote these products to a greater extent than they presently are. That’s where the real opportunity lies.

Marketers need to take a different approach when dealing with millennials. Millennials have a much higher disposable income from other generations and as such they have unsurpassed spending power.

With that though comes increased demand. Millennials know what they want and given they’ve all grown up with technology they’re able to research the best deals online so they have all the facts in front of them prior to shopping.

Despite millennials wanting the best price around and despite the rise of fast fashion, they are loyal to their preferred brands when shopping.

Generation Z, the generation born after the mid 1990s, although like other generations there is no particular date, are less loyal to their brands. In fact, they don’t even have “their brands”.  They care much more about price and will switch brands if they find cheaper elsewhere.

With increasing numbers of Generation Z consumers, marketers are faced with a real challenge. Once upon a time it was possible to market to your consumers based on loyalty and relationships. Anyone in sales or who has known people who have sold products knows the importance of relationship building, and that you must develop a relationship with your consumers. That relationship can be performed in numerous ways, including through discounts for loyal customers, special products and rewards for loyalty etc.

As mentioned though, it’s harder to reach Generation Z this way so marketers must look to other ways.

When making purchasing decisions they consider online reviews and like to know what their peers are saying about brands or products. Despite them not being loyal to their brands, trust is a big factor that will influence their shopping habits. They are not fast to trust strangers and unsurprisingly they hate being lied to.

It has been well documented in the past that millennials do not like being tied down. While other generations liked security and didn’t mind being locked into contracts, Millennials like to have freedom to move around and shop for the best deal. That’s much harder to do if you’re locked into a two year contract.

Millennials know all too well that they may miss out on a better deal if they are locked into a contract and that is why they avoid them. Millennials like to maintain freedom and the ability to choose.

That is why online shopping is fantastic, it allows consumers the choice and ability to conduct prior research before they buy a product. They can become fully informed without being locked in, and brands don’t lose out on possible consumers.