As the retail landscape continuously evolves, demand for individual products can be extremely volatile – with trends and styles fading in and out rapidly. At the same time, major shifts such as demographic and large-scale market fluctuation occur rarely and at a slower pace, while being highly significant. One such major change currently impacting retailers is the growing influx of the approximately 84 million Millennials (U.S. Census) into today’s shopping force. With this in mind, we’d like to take a peek into Millennial shopping habits and highlight a few ways retailers can connect with this core group of consumers.
The millennial difference
According to Accenture analysts, Millennials will account for $1.4 trillion in retail sales – growing to nearly 30 percent of all shoppers by 2020. The shift in purchasing power is particularly important to retailers because Millennials appear to place a greater emphasis on certain aspects of the customer experience than previous generations. For the past several decades, retailers have utilized standard strategies such as circulars or in-store advertisements to entice new customers, encourage loyalty and grow brand recognition among older generations; however, research shows diminishing returns on those strategies when used on Millennials. Experts and analysts, including a recent study by Synchrony Financial, note that, unlike their predecessors, Millennials place a much higher value on a digital experience, as well as a seamless customer experience.
Online and offline, interaction is key
While many retailers have websites and mobile apps, they lack components of personalized interaction, such as transactional receipts that tie back to a personalized profile, which is of highest value to the Millennial customer. Additionally, retailers that incorporate a customer’s online interactions with their in-store experiences – such as using beacon technology to communicate with shoppers via mobile at key points during their in-store purchase – can capture younger customers and drive conversion. As noted by a survey from the University of Southern California’s Center for the Digital Future, Millennials are willing to share private information in exchange for a tangible benefit– 56 percent said they would be willing to share their location for a discount. Overall, Millennials are looking for a retailer that can accommodate them in a more convenient, personal manner both digitally and in-person.
Don’t get left behind
As this tech-savvy generation has both buying power and knowledge at their fingertips, it is imperative that retailers continue to adapt their business practices. To effectively master these offerings, retailers need to capture as much data as possible. ShopperTrak can simplify and synthesize that data into powerful, actionable information. Whether the goal is to optimize market effectiveness, gain a clearer understanding of store performance or to better align staffing and staff behavior, ShopperTrak can teach retailers how to leverage the power of their data.