26 Feb 2016

Mobile and Millennials – are your product configurators doing enough?

Millennial audiences (that’s those between 18-34 years old) are quickly growing up, becoming adults and having kids, but unlike the generations that came before them, they aren’t responding to brands in quite the same, excited way.

Millennials are mobile-first, desktop later
Research by Facebook and Nielsen suggests that this is because we aren’t connecting to the millennial generation in the right way… through mobile. In fact, they’ve discovered that over 77% of millennials say that they always have their mobile with them and over 55% are likely to discover products from sources outside of the store.

The millennials are the first generation who tend to use mobile-first and desktop later, they would much rather shop using a retail app (over 61% download and use retail apps according to research by Ipsos and Facebook). Yet still, certain technology is still designed to run better when viewed on a desktop.

The configurator problem
When it comes to using customisation and personalisation tools for products and services, the difficult technological aspects of such a tool means that often millennials have to haul out, and fire up, their desktops.

In further research by Ipsos and Facebook, specifically on car consumers, they found that over 71% of millennials use mobile during their research of a vehicle. But that over 58% of these said that customisation and comparison tools work best when accessed from a desktop.

But when you’ve done all the hard work finding, comparing and choosing your deal, through apps and mobile sites, the idea of having to get out another piece of tech, seems a bit backward.

Simplifying your customisation tools
We suggest that it’s time that brands stop thinking about this new generation as just desktop users, as often, the only device that they’ll have on them is their mobile.

Right now, configurators tend to be quite complicated bits of kit that can only be found, and effectively used, from a desktop website.

It’s time to start designing much simpler configurators for use on mobile devices, or brands could miss out on sales from millennials, who are put off from finishing their purchase path by things that they can’t easily access from their chosen device.

If personalisation tools are made simpler, they could even be used in earlier stages of the buying process, leading to some really great possibilities for lead generation, which is something we wrote about last year. Simplifying interactive tools is not easy – one of the reasons that many tools are cumbersome to use is that it is so much easier to throw together every possible feature for every possible type of user. User experience (UX) design takes time and experience to research, test and design interfaces that are simple, intuitive and inherently usable on mobile devices.

Right now, there’s the start of a new generation that will be brought up interfacing with mobile and tablet devices long before they ever get hold of a desktop. It’s key that we start to simplify all of our complicated content so that the millennials and beyond can see and interact with your brand, without the need to find a laptop.

We always think mobile-first and we’re on hand to give advice and services to people needing to simplify their tech for a mobile world, talk to us.