Understandably, many business owners are anxious to ensure their firm’s website has a broad appeal; they want their site to be attractive, easy to navigate, and useful for everyone (or at least, almost everyone who could conceivably buy their products). But while this is certainly an explicable aim, it might not necessarily be the right priority to have.
To illustrate the point, let’s look at just one key demographic factor that will likely be apparent across your store’s target customer base: age.
The fact is, different generations do take different approaches to the online world, and this could have important implications for your brand’s website design approach. And it’s almost certain that your business will appeal or be more relevant to some generations than to others.
If, then, you focus too much on appealing to ‘everyone’ with your brand’s website design, you might risk deterring your most lucrative potential audience, without really gaining many customers from other age cohorts.
But do the various age cohorts differ that much, really?
You might imagine that people of various age groups surely don’t vary that much in terms of how they engage with websites like yours. After all, broadly speaking, a website that is ugly and tricky to navigate for a Generation Zer is likely to be just as much so for a Boomer, right?
In some ways, that might be true. But there are some differences still very much worth accounting for when you come to design or redesign your brand’s website.
- Baby Boomers, for example – defined as those who were born between about 1945 and 1964 – might not depend on ecommerce to quite the extent younger generations do, for obvious reasons. But past research indicates that when they do shop online – as can still be ‘often’ – they still have certain preferences. Those include online stores using larger fonts with good contrast – think darker colours over white – and being able to find the product they need without having to ‘deep browse’.
- So, what about Generation Xers? This cohort was born roughly between 1965 and 1980. Gen Xers do tend to be somewhat more comfortable with technology than Boomers, having been in their twenties and thirties as the early 21st-century boom of the World Wide Web occurred. But they are also often short of time, and therefore appreciate straightforwardness and pragmatism. They want to know “what is in it for me?”, and they want to see results. So, your website design – if geared towards this generation – should be direct and uncomplicated, with minimal ‘fluff’.
- Next, we have Millennials. This is the age group of those born between about 1981 and 1996, and members of this cohort have a global mindset. The stereotype is of Millennials having been the first generation who were ‘glued to their phones’, and that’s not entirely wrong, so ensuring your site is optimised for smartphone access should be a big priority if you are seeking to appeal to this generation. Millennials also tend to be drawn to text messaging and social media for their communication, rather than the phone and email contact that previous cohorts often favour.
- Finally, let’s talk about Generation Z. We can consider this to be the age cohort born from around 1997 to 2012. Members of this generation tend to be fairly sceptical of advertising, instead placing their faith in endorsements from friends and family. They also expect an efficient experience and minimal hassle, including the ability to have products directly delivered to them, and real-time notifications about their orders. In short, they are demanding customers! Adding to this, they also value brands that show a high level of social responsibility, not least because they frequently diligently practise this in their own lives.
There you go – just a few of the many ways in which the intricate differences between generations can make a real difference to the approach that you should, and must take with your brand’s website design or redesign. As a consequence, you should be wary of adopting too much of a ‘broad brush’ philosophy with your e-tail site that risks failing to entirely satisfy any demographic.
If you are presently comparing not only website design firms, but also SEO and marketing, graphic design, and bespoke system solution companies in Gibraltar, you are likely to appreciate being able to turn to one company that provides a complete suite of such services.
For a more detailed discussion of the results that could come from your brand working with Piranha Designs, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team today.