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Knowing Your Audience

  • Written By Ali
  • Posted December 21, 2016
  • 4 minutes Read Time

Considering the types of payment methods your business will accept requires an existing knowledge of the range of audience you are reaching, and an understanding of how specific generations prefer to pay. By selecting the right payment tools for those who use your business, you are able to maintain their loyalty, whilst remaining a competitor within the market for the best eCommerce site. Here is a look at the different generations that make up today’s eCommerce market, and how they prefer to pay.

Generation Z

Born between 1996 and 2010, this group are in their early twenties and will represent 40% of all consumers by 2020, according to FastCoExist. When a market research company decided to try and see the world through the eyes of Generation Z, unsurprisingly, they found that this group are highly comfortable to use various new technologies for financial transactions. They make up the largest demographic of mobile payment users according to The Pew Charitable Trust findings.

Crucially, this demographic sees the ownership of “stuff” as much more of an accomplishment that signifies status, in a way that the millennials, who typically prioritise experiences over goods, don’t. Despite being found to be budget conscious as a group, this makes them a vital target for all producer outlets, as they are responsible for a vast amount of online revenue across the globe. Businesses should keep in mind that this generation has an ‘8-second filter’ when it comes to purchasing, according to research by Altitude. The endless options available to them both online and in a physical sense means they have learnt how to prioritise and can shrink all that is on offer to a more manageable size. While it is unfair to suggest all Generation Z have short attention spans, it is a good idea to provide quick and convenient methods of paying in order to stay on top of the market.

Millennials

Born between 1982 and 2004, millennials have come of age surrounded by the rapid developments of new technologies, meaning they are likely to use mobile devices to pay. According to The Pew Charitable Trust, around 90% of millennials have smartphones and 50% have used their device to make a purchase online or through an app. They are also more likely to use branded apps such as Starbucks, which reward them for their purchases in the form of discounted prices and special offers.

In addition to this, PaymentEye reports that millennials are the most frequent users of PayPal, with 32% of those surveyed using the payment service. Interestingly, despite the willingness to accept payment technology, most transactions from this demographic avoid the use of credit. Bankrate’s experts explain that millennials are reluctant to embrace the credit culture, after experiencing the financial aftermath of the Great Recession first-hand. This means that digital purchases are more likely to be linked to a debit card, which is also something to consider when deciding on payment options if you plan to target this group.

Generation X

Over 80% of Generation X consumers own smartphones. The demographic – born between 1965 and 1983 – are less likely to confirm purchases via mobile payments, although nearly half of those surveyed did. This group tend to appreciate the opportunity to earn rewards with regular producers, much like millennials, and welcome the ability to pay instantaneously and receive digital receipts.

This group are more reliant on credit cards and are the most likely of all the groups to have related debt as a consequence. According to a study by Lending Tree, only 42 per cent of this demographic pays their full credit card balances each month.

Baby boomers

Currently, between the ages of 51 and 69, Baby boomers have seen significant amounts of change when it comes to the culture of consumerism and eCommerce. They use credit cards but are more likely to pay their credit card bill on a monthly basis. From the group surveyed, only 33% had used a mobile device as payment methods, though this was not through a lack of trust in technology, but more of a preference for traditional cash payments.

Only 13% of the over 60 are still writing cheques, according to Federal Reserve data, who actually predict that the paper check will be extinct by 2021.

Understanding these demographics allows you to know your customer and grasp what they might be looking for from eCommerce platforms. As a result, you will be able to tailor your business in a way that appeals to the most potential consumers, creating a higher likelihood of conversion rates.