Retailers, Millennials Are Flocking To Digital Shopping

Retailers, Millennials Are Flocking To Digital Shopping

Millennials already outnumber Baby Boomers and “by 2020, they will comprise nearly half of the U.S. workforce. By 2025, that number will grow to 75%”. So it comes as no surprise that you want to catch their attention.

In order to do so, however, you have to understand how this generation’s shopping habits differ from Baby Boomers’. Millennials are a technology-driven culture. They were born during the explosion of technology, and in a new world shaped by new media, new products and new forms of marketing.

That’s probably why they are not only having a big impact on eCommerce, where they spend more money online than other generations, but also when it comes to in-store shopping.
Online shopping

Millennials make up the largest group of online purchase intenders. More than 70% of online shoppers agree that shopping online is more convenient, and 60% agree that they normally find better prices online.

Despite the growth in mobile commerce, 65% of Millennials still prefer using computers to make online purchases, according to an Annalect survey. However, mobile devices are the most preferred research tool for Millennials, according to Neustar. 54% of this generation uses smartphones to research products online while 31% prefer using a computer.

Also, when it comes to online shopping, social media has a big impact on Millennials. According to Marketing sherpa, 52% of this generation say that social media ads influence their decision to buy a product.
In-store shopping

According to a recent study by Accenture, Millennials still see brick-and-mortar shopping as an important part of their shopping experience. In fact, more Millennials than Baby Boomers visited stores more often in 2014.

In-store shopping is becoming a digital shopping experience. In the U.S. 71% of this generation goes to stores with their mobile phone devices on and ready to compare prices, download coupons and read product reviews, making the in-store experience just another venue to price check.

However, more than half of this generation thinks that the in-store experience needs to be improved. They want to be able to check the product availability in-store, order out-of-stock products, and have free Wi-Fi connection.

Keeping in mind that Millennials will make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce in 2020, the sooner brands build a relationship and connection with them the better because they will continue purchasing from that brand when they get older. According to “10 New Findings About The Millennial Consumer”, 60% of Millennials are often or always loyal to the brands they purchase.

Also, in-store, retailers can benefit form beacon technology. Beacons detect the exact location of the customers in the shop, and the retailer can send them messages on their smartphones promoting products or giving useful information about products.

Beacon technology can also be used to woo customers to step in the store. If they’ve downloaded the retailer’s mobile app, when they walk by the shop they can receive messages about product discounts.
To make the most of Millennials shopping experience and increase sales, engagement and loyalty, marketers should use social media campaigns in their marketing plans, and make sure customers know the digital shopping tools available to them online and in-store (for example, shopping apps or digital coupons).

So when building a relationship with Millennials, marketers should take into account that online shopping is important when targeting this generation, as well as that they are driving a shift on in-store shopping behaviors.

Technology is changing the market, and markets should adapt to new trends. Not only because it’s good for the customer, but because it’s essential to the business.

This article is written from the personal perspective of Cora Ribe. The opinions and views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Miller Group Advertising.

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