Why It Pays To Connect With Millennials In-Store
Entitled. Spoiled. Lazy. Selfish. Vain. I plead not guilty. But unless you’ve been living under a rock with no Wi-Fi or cable, you’ve heard such terms being used to define the prototypical Millennial. And actually, you’d be right to call us that. But Millennials are a trillion dollar demographic topping off at nearly 80 million in the US. We’re on the brink of our prime spending years too, which is why as retail marketers, it is imperative to understand how and why we have such contrasting spending habits versus our predecessors. So consider this your crash course in Millennial shopping habits.
Lesson #1: We get smart online. Not buy online.
We want it all: A fully integrated purchase path, from site-on-screen to in-store handholding. We aren’t just digital shoppers on multiple channels. We’re connected consumers that yearn for an overall, holistic shopping experience. In fact, according to Accenture, 68 percent of all Millennials demand an integrated, seamless experience regardless of the online channel. We browse products, pick and click specifications and gain insights to get an idea of what we’re looking for, but it isn’t until we walk through a store that we truly get to see and feel the story of a brand… the one that makes us open up our fat, yet dust covered wallets. That’s why we expect a compelling website and an exclusive in-store experience.
Lesson #2: We’re loyal to the core. Until you break our hearts.
60 percent of Millennial shoppers say they’re loyal to brands, which means we’re remarkably devoted to a customer-centric shopping experience. We value a brand that provides a tailored shopping experience because we have definitive needs, but we also admire brands that treat their employees with respect and make everyone, no matter what race or gender, feel welcomed especially in-store. Because the retail landscape is so competitive and loyalty programs are so popular, it’s easy for us to pick up shop and move on to the next best thing. Undermining a Millennial’s trust can break you.
Lesson #3: We connect with people. Not devices.
Yes, Millennials love their iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. But they still love people more. In a recent survey, Millennials overwhelmingly expressed similar values with non-Millennials, choosing relationships with friends and family over anything else. More than that, Millennials also care about the community, with 75 percent saying “giving back” is fairly or very important to them when making purchases. Just because we’re connected through our devices doesn’t mean we’re turning off our love for people, so brands better be streaming authentic content through digital platforms and provide in-store cause-marketing promotions that actually make a difference for the greater good.
Millennials aren’t that bad. We know what we want and expect exceptional customer service. But at the core, we value connection and storytelling. Perhaps more than any previous generation. And considering we’re about to become the wealthiest generation in America, you better get your story straight.
Sources: Donnelly, Christopher, and Renato Scaff. Who Are the Millennial Shoppers? And What Do They Really Want? Rep. no. 2. Accenture. Web. OUTLOOK: ACCENTURE’S JOURNAL OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE BUSINESS