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As the world becomes more interconnected, digital commerce continues to grow steadily, opening up opportunities for online businesses to meet the increasing demand of consumers. In this article, we want to focus on two generations that are key to understanding in order to boost your sales -Generation Z and Millennials. Here are 6 key aspects that both generations expect from your e-commerce business.

The Importance of Generation Z and Millennials in e-Commerce

Generation Z (born mid-1990s to mid-2010s) and Millennials (born early 1980s to mid-1990s) heavily impact online shopping. 32% of Generation Z and 25% of Millennials shop online daily. Generation Z's purchasing power exceeds $143 billion USD, shaping the retail industry. By 2025, Millennials' income of $8.3 trillion will increase their annual spending from $2.5 trillion significantly.

Prioritizing your business to meet the expectations of both Generation X and Millennials in online shopping is crucial. The emergence of social commerce as a powerful revenue stream has transformed the online shopping landscape. Cross-border shopping, changes in payment methods, fast shipping, and more options to buy online have reshaped the way businesses generate income. In this article, we will explore these evolving trends to provide a comprehensive understanding.

6 aspects Millennials and Gen Z expect from when shopping online

Millennials and Gen Z have grown up in the digital age and have different expectations when it comes to shopping online. These expectations can vary among individuals within these generations, but overall, these are some common aspects that Millennials and Gen Z tend to expect when shopping online.

1. Social commerce vs e-commerce

On one hand, e-Commerce typically involves the purchase and sale of products through websites or dedicated apps. Social commerce, on the other hand, enables selling goods directly within social media platforms, eliminating the need to navigate away from the social app to complete the transaction. This transforms the way we shop by letting customers buy directly within the app, without going to external websites. Online businesses can now engage directly with customers, providing personalized discounts and improving interactions.

The main social commerce platforms used by Generation Z and Millenials are:

  • Instagram: Businesses can tag products in their posts and stories, allowing users to purchase directly from the app.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest offers a visual discovery platform where users can explore and save ideas. It has introduced features like shoppable pins, allowing businesses to showcase products and drive sales directly through the platform.
  • TikTok: The platform has introduced features like "Shop Now" buttons and partnerships with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify to enable direct shopping within the app. 83% of TikTok users say trending content on the platform has inspired them to make a purchase. 
  • WeChat: It is a multipurpose platform popular in China and combines social media, messaging, and payment functionalities. It has evolved into a social commerce powerhouse, enabling users to shop, make payments, and interact with brands all within the app.



2. Influencers influence the purchase

Continuing on the same line of social commerce, when an influencer shares sponsored content on their channel, it introduces your brand to a new audience of potential customers. Resulting in a conversion rate of 49% for Millenials, compared to only 14% for Boomers. This exposure can significantly expand your brand's reach, increase awareness, and ultimately boost sales. Influencers often cultivate a loyal following by creating authentic and relatable content.


Influencers play a vital role in streamlining the customer journey by providing valuable insights and product details directly to your audience. This eliminates the need for extensive external research, such as reading reviews, blogs, and forums, making the decision-making process more efficient. As a result, influencers have a strong influence on purchasing decisions, with 71% of consumers being more likely to buy products and services based on an influencer's recommendations.

3. Cross-border shopping

Millennials are often drawn to unique, niche, and exclusive products that may not be readily available in their local markets. Approximately 71% of Millennials engage in cross-border shopping several times a year. This is closely followed by 60% of Generation Z consumers. Online cross-border shopping provides them with access to a broader selection of items, allowing them to discover and purchase products that align with their individuality and interests.

Guide for Cross-Border E-Commerce in the European Union

Millennials are primarily driven by price sensitivity and the pursuit of the best online deals when engaging in cross-border shopping. According to Retailx, in Europe, Portugal leads with 66% of consumers shopping internationally multiple times a year, followed by the UK with 62% and Spain with 59%. Consequently, it is vital for your online business to effectively expand across borders. Collaborating with a trusted 3PL company like byrd can be advantageous for cross-border sales. byrd handles documentation requirements and ensures reliable shipping through trusted parcel companies. Our expertise enables seamless navigation of the complexities associated with cross-border operations.

4. Methods of payment

Millennials and Generation Z prioritize convenient, secure, and user-friendly payment methods in e-commerce. Online businesses must stay updated with evolving payment preferences to remain competitive. Given their reliance on mobile devices, they seek mobile-friendly payment options for quick and easy purchases. For this reason, these generations expect multiple payment options, including credit/debit cards, digital wallets, and alternatives like PayPal or Apple Pay. 

  • 58% of Generation Z consumers prefer to pay with a mobile wallet.
  • 58% of millennials prefer to pay with a debit/credit card.

Another popular payment method in Europe that is here to stay is Buy Now Pay Later. Convenience is the primary motivation for using these services, with Gen Z (50%) and Millennials (51%) being the most inclined to adopt them. Additionally, Millennials have the highest level of trust in the security of Buy Now Pay Later services, with 53% expressing confidence.

5. Sustainability

These generations are aware of their impact and the influence they can create, which is why they seek out products that reflect their identity and personal values. Sustainability has become a part of their lifestyle, and conscious consumption in e-commerce is a way for them to express their authenticity. Online shopping provides them with a wide selection of sustainable products and brands that align with their values.

Sustainable e-commerce supply chain e-book

A study by Simon-Kucher and Partners (2021) revealed that younger consumers, particularly Generation Z (39%) and Millennials (42%), actively seek ways to be more sustainable. Both generations(31%) are more likely to pay more for sustainable products than Baby Boomers (26%). To effectively engage with Gen Z, e-commerce brands must make sustainability a priority and communicate their responsibility to the planet and customers transparently. Additionally, eco-friendly packaging holds considerable importance in satisfying the sustainable preferences of these consumer groups.

6. Fast shipping

Receiving products on time will always be a top priority for many people who shop online and these two generations are no exception. Generation Z and Millennials are willing to pay extra for faster order fulfillment and place a higher value on prompt delivery. Their focus is less on seeking deals and more on the convenience of instant delivery.

56% of millennials have an expectation of same-day delivery and 64% stated that they are more inclined to make a purchase if a same-day delivery option is available. Therefore, it becomes essential that your products are distributed through reliable parcel companies that guarantee fast and secure delivery in good condition. At byrd, we partner with secure and reputable parcel companies in Europe, who help us in achieving the goal of providing exceptional delivery of your products.

Achieve these expectations with a 3PL company - byrd can help you!

A 3PL company like byrd can play a crucial role in helping you meet the expectations of Generation Z customers and Millennials. As you've read, social commerce is gaining momentum, with various social media platforms. Some of them are even partnering with software integrations like Shopify to help you in this process. With byrd, you can connect your store to the Shopify integration and import your products. This way, you can also reach out to social media platforms like TikTok.

In addition, thanks to our warehouses located in different parts of Europe, you can meet the interest in international shopping. byrd facilitates cross-border fulfillment by providing efficient import and export services. The advantages are endless, and we want to help you meet the expectations of these new generations. Contact one of our specialists as soon as possible to receive a quote.