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How to attract Millennial shoppers

November 10, 2016 ByStaff

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It’s widely accepted that consumers are becoming more demanding, and that retailers and shopping centres must meet those rising expectations in order to secure their spend and loyalty. However, achieving this is a major challenge, as shopper behaviours are becoming more diverse.

To help retail organisations get closer to what their potential customers want, ShopperTrak is launching a series of blogs looking at the different behaviours of different consumer groups. We will also be providing guidance on how to optimise the bricks-and-mortar retail environment for these shoppers – starting with Millennials.

Who are Millennials?

Sometimes referred to as Generation Y or Generation Me, Millennials are consumers that reached adulthood around the year 2000. Globally, Millennials’ spending power hit €2.25 trillion last year, according to Youbrand research, and a separate Advertising Age study has forecast that their value as a consumer group will increase again in 2017.

How do Millennials behave?

One of the main challenges to the retail sector is that there is a lot of conflicting information surrounding the Millennial consumer. One survey may claim they prefer to shop online; another proclaims they prefer the store, and so forth.

Recently, at NRF’s Digital Retail Summit, a panel of speakers from PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Ogilvy One put some of these misconceptions to bed. Instead, they outlined five key behaviour traits that hallmark the relationship that Millennials want to have with retailers and shopping centres. These traits were:

  • Desire for consistency across channels – incorporating mobile in particular
  • Content that engages them without forcing them to buy
  • An immediate, seamless transactional experience when they are ready to buy
  • Personalisation of retail experiences around their individual needs
  • Loyalty schemes that add real value and recognise their value in all channels

Overall, Millennials are the definitive omnichannel generation. They want everything available everywhere, but in a way that is relevant and optimised for each individual channel, and for their individual value and requirements to be recognised in whichever of these channels they choose to interact through. This is no small task to deliver!

How can retailers and shopping centres target Millennial shoppers?

For retail organisations, building a profitable relationship with Millennial shoppers is all about the two Cs: choice and convenience. This consumer group wants to choose which channel they engage through, for what purpose, and they want to achieve their objectives quickly – from researching a product through to the final transaction.

Within the bricks-and-mortar environment, this poses a unique set of challenges, as it is much easier to be agile online than in a store or shopping centre. However, there are ways to optimise the physical retail experience, provided they understand how their set-up will impact the customer experience.

For example, staffing is a key consideration to the choice and convenience that a store can offer. Too few staff on the shop floor during peak periods, and long queues soon build up. Equally, if retailers decide to equip store associates with tablets or mobile devices to enhance the customer experience, they need to understand how this impacts both dwell times and shopper movement across the store.

There are other aspects of the retail experience that can affect whether a Millennial consumer converts. For instance, marketing and loyalty have an essential role to play; even in the bricks-and-mortar environment, this consumer group wants to have access to the same deals they are being offered online, and to collect incentives based on their online and offline activity.

Disconnections in either of these environments can result in campaigns not converting as successfully, and only by mapping activities against footfall and sales can retail businesses understand whether their marketing strategy is effectively targeting this audience.

Understand all your customers in greater detail

Retail organisations have to get closer to their customers in order to create a shopping experience that is engaging, easy and convenient. Part one of our ‘Redesigning Retail’ report takes a more in-depth look at how bricks-and-mortar fits in with the modern day shopper, and demonstrates what retailers and retail property owners can do to secure the store’s place at the heart of the millennial.  Comprehending not just how Millennials behave, but all types of consumer, will give your business a better framework of what they want – and how you deliver against their expectations.

ShopperTrak can support retailers and shopping centres in this understanding, by mapping consumer footfall throughout the day against other key business metrics. ShopperTrak Analytics Suite aggregates powerful sets of data from any device into one, centralised location, enabling you to understand your shoppers’ behaviour in greater detail, and profit from that insight.

 

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