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HomeTechnologyHow online retailers cater to their young, mobile shoppers

How online retailers cater to their young, mobile shoppers


70% of bridal retailer Azazie’s customers are millennials, with the “sweet spot” of its shoppers in the 25 to 34 age group, says chief marketing officer Ranu Coleman.

And that young cohort of shoppers means Azazie’s web traffic and sales skew heavily toward mobile devices: 73% of Azazie’s 2021 web traffic were from smartphones, and 60% of its sales were from smartphones, which includes mobile web and its app, Coleman says.

“It’s grown incrementally every year,” Coleman says about mobile sales. “Our customer base being on their phone 24/7 is probably part of it. It keeps happening every year as our demo gets younger and younger.”

And young shoppers like smartphone shopping for the immediacy it offers, Coleman says.

“The younger customer wants that immediate gratification. Our shoppers tend to be very savvy and they want everything right now,” Coleman says.

Over the last few years, many retailers have also experienced the same incremental shift to more and more mobile traffic and sales. For example, during the 2021 holiday season, 43% of online sales were from smartphones, up from 40% in 2020, according to Adobe Analytics data for November and December. Data from the Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 back this up, especially for retailers with a younger shopping cohort. For the Top 1000 North American-based online retailers, the median share of traffic to a Top 1000 retailer’s site from mobile was 65.0%, up from 62.1% in 2020 and 58.2% in 2019.

Within the Top 1000, roughly 230 retailers have younger shoppers, with more than 50% of their web traffic coming from shoppers ages 35 and younger. (The exact number of retailers varies each year based on which retailers make the Top 1000.) For these younger-focused merchants, mobile traffic is even higher. Among the 230 retailers, the median share of mobile traffic was 68.4% in 2021, 65.3% in 2020 and 60.7% in 2019.

Three online retailers with a younger shopper base—watch and accessories brand MVMT (owned by Movado Group Inc.), apparel brand True Religion Brand Jeans and Azazie—share how they cater their mobile shopping experience to younger shoppers with mobile-focused design, offering pay-in-installment buttons and providing apps with unique features.

More mobile traffic means design must be mobile-first

Retailers have broken down barriers to mobile shopping, says Spencer Stumbaugh, chief brand officer at MVMT. This was not the case just a few years ago when mobile commerce was all about getting consumer awareness and traffic, but conversion happened on the desktop. That’s all changed, for both MVMT and the overall market, Stumbaugh says.

In 2018, desktop traffic was roughly 75% of MVMT.com’s traffic, mobile 25%. Just three years later in 2021, smartphones accounted for a whopping

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