The youngest consumers among us, specifically Generation Z (born between 1996 and 2010), grew up in the most accelerated time of tech advancements and have developed new digital standards that must be heard by mobile commerce professionals. They expect fast, personalized online experiences, and with an attention span of eight seconds the importance of website speed cannot be exaggerated.
Gen Z represents 25% of the US population, but influence 93% of household spend and account for $143 billion in global buying power. In contrast, their predecessors Millennials (aka Gen Y), also represent one quarter of the US population, but their spending power is less than half of Gen Zers’, estimated at $65 billion, globally. These young consumers represent half of the US population and are willing to spend, but eCommerce companies must remember that they’ve grown up in a digitally developed world, and therefore have high expectations of website experience.
These expectations are driving disruption for eCommerce across the globe and they have influenced other generations, too. Today’s consumers seek ubiquitous connectivity, on-demand entertainment, and fast, personalized online experiences. To remain competitive in the years to come, make sure you tweak your eCommerce customer experience to these demands.
Gen Zers, do not know a pre-smartphone world and, as a result, are more connected to technology than ever before. They expect technology to work seamlessly and eCommerce websites to predict what they’d be interested in purchasing, because in a world where opportunities to buy are endless, they need help assessing whether something is worthy of their time. Millennials share the sentiment as they’ve become avid Netflix watchers and Spotify listeners, driving their appreciation for personalized recommendations to an all-time high.
Think about this: If Netflix forgot your history, would you shuffle through the millions of titles to find something binge worthy? Or if Spotify reset your history every 24 hours, imagine how different your music selection would become. Would you still even subscribe?
Both generations expect customized eCommerce experiences, with Gen Z leading the pack. A whopping, 68% of Gen Zers believe that websites should be able to predict their wants, and 44% will explicitly provide data to personalize their experience. Expectations of digital experiences include more than just predictive technology — speedy experiences are also demanded.
According to Forbes, on average, Millennials use three screens (and bounce between them intermittently), while Gen Zers use five. This hyper-stimulation is part of the cause that the average human attention span has diminished.
“Twenty years ago, the average attention span was 12 minutes — today, Millennials average at 12 seconds, and Gen Zers at eight. That’s eight to 12 seconds that are critical to getting your customers down the path-to-purchase before you lose their attention.”
Eight to 12 second path-to-purchase
If the golden rule is that a website should load in under three seconds, you only have a few precious seconds (five to nine) to push consumers through the funnel before you lose their focus. However, the average page load time for eCommerce websites is just under seven seconds. That leaves you with just one second to convince Gen Zers that your products are worth their time, before you lose their attention.
Research at Wolfgang Digital found that the average shopper spends 3.18 minutes on an eCommerce websites viewing six pages, and 21% of the time is spent waiting for pages to load. Thankfully, there are services that help cut down the wait time to a mere 5%, but most of them are built to deal with static content websites, not complex, database-driven eCommerce websites. This is why we have built Layer0.
Living up to expectations with the right tech
Providing a fast and personalized experience is very difficult, as the two efforts directly combat one another. The scripts and trackers that personalize the experience also add to page load times. This is why we're seeing the increased adoption of modern technologies that were built for website speed, such as eCommerce Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). However, PWAs alone are not enough to deliver fast, personalized experiences for complex, eCommerce websites.
We, at Layer0, have invested in creating the first and only website infrastructure solution that delivers sub-second page loads for database-driven websites to answer the needs of enterprise eCommerce companies. This is Layer0 and with it, enterprise eCommerce companies, the likes of 1-800-Flowers and Venus Fashion, provide consumers with the best of both worlds: a personalized experience that loads in the blink of an eye.
Venus Fashion, an industry leader in womens’ apparel went from only 15.25% of site pages loading in under a second to 72.75% on Layer0, but don’t take our word for it — try it for yourself on your phone. The result of this increase in the share of pages that load in less than a second: a 24% increase in conversion rate. Conversion lift is far from the only benefit of sub-second speed. We continuously see eCommerce companies rise in the search ranks and drive organic traffic from the speed improvements of Layer0.
As technology advances, expectations rise and disrupt industries. Without adapting to the new demands of consumers, eCommerce IT professionals and business leaders will be left wondering what to do next to capture and engage today’s consumer.
Creating a smooth, personalized experience that is delivered at sub-second speeds, is crucial to rise above the competitive noise. In transitioning to an instant-loading website, you increase conversions, search ranking & traffic, and ROI from SEM. Not to mention, more trusted and loyal customers who support you from a young age. And that's not a bad position to be in.
Schedule a quick consultative conversation with us to see how Layer0 can help you in the competitive eCommerce race for site speed, and win over the youngest and most influential generations we’ve known. Layer0 can help you in the competitive eCommerce race for site speed, and win over the youngest and most influential generations we’ve known.