According to a recent industry-focused report, the retail sector is poised to undergo more changes in the next five years than its experienced in the past five decades. Most of this change is driven by the Millennial generation’s $600 billion in purchasing power and their increasing influence in the retail industry. Today’s retailers sustain profitability by understanding more about some of the fundamental ways Millennials are reinventing retail going forward.
1. Millennials Expect Retailers to Stay Technologically Relevant
In order to remain relevant with Millennial shoppers, retailers need to keep pace with the massive digital transformation occurring in the sector. During the spring of 2016, leading brands like Google, Costco and Hotwire met together at a tech summit to discuss how to reinvent themselves online and at their physical locations.
2. Millennials are Smarter Shoppers
Consumers today have more options than ever before, and no one is more aware of that fact than the Millennial generation. Millennial shoppers don’t want to wait, and they know with a few clicks and swipes they can find a retailer that won’t keep them waiting. Millennials do their research and expect variety and options from retailers. These shoppers are also more skeptical of unrealistic promises and outlandish claims made in marketing ploys.
3. Millennial Shoppers are Influenced by Social Media
Leading brands with a large following on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have a great influence on Millennials’ buying decisions. These shoppers tend to be more vocal about their buying experiences, whether good or bad. According to a recent survey, over 65 percent of Millennial shoppers say they are influenced by social media.
4. Millennials Expect Engagement and Sales as a Service
Millennials are loyal to loyal brands, so customer engagement and subscription services are now more prominent than ever before in the retail sector. Millennial shoppers are most loyal to retailers who invest in establishing a brand and engaging with their target audience on social media.
Millennial shoppers are most loyal to retailers who invest in establishing a brand and engaging with their target audience on social media.
5. Millennial Prefer Malls to Online Shopping
Unlike other generations, over 30 percent of Millennials prefer shopping at the mall over shopping online. Much of the appeal is the social experience and window shopping. Retails are expected to invest in upgrading amenities to draw in more of these consumers on a more frequent basis. However, adding unique stores, more storefronts and better food may be the most enticing attractions for most Millennials.
6. Millennials Demand Omni-Channel Shopping
Generally speaking, Millennials have a higher proclivity for omni-channel environments. Nearly 70 percent of all Millennials expect a seamless, integrated experience with any shopping channel they use. Millennials expect retailers’ omni-channel integration to be user-friendly, social and quick, otherwise these shoppers end up getting frustrated. Competitive retailers are now tasked with real-time targeted marketing campaigns, marketing automation and capturing offline and online activity through the IoT. A retail execution solution helps innovative retailers to perfect their omni-channel experience by optimizing in store operations continously.
7. Millennials are Primarily Mobile-Centric
Studies show Millennials check their mobile devices about 45 times per day, on average. Even though these digital natives operate primarily from their mobile devices, they still like visiting retailers in person to make their actual purchase. Successful retailers invest in establishing a strong enough mobile presence that brings more Millennial shoppers to their physical location.
8. Millennials are Bringing Bots to Retail
As retail becomes more about engagement and less about traditional sales, successful retailers are learning that investing in bots can help out immensely. Bots can manage and automate the more mundane tasks, freeing up retailers to focus more on personalizing the offers designed for Millennial shoppers. In essence, bots are becoming a more useful tool for retailers focused on finding new ways to enhance their personal interactions with customers.
9. Millennials are Driving the Sharing Economy
Successful retailers understand that Millennials value`the experience they share with friends and family over all. This is one of the primary proponents behind the success of recent startups like Uber and Airbnb, Millennials are compelled to spend on experienced-driven and novelty events than other generations. Recent studies show that approximately 75 percent of all Millennials have a positive view of the sharing industry, comprised of companies like Uber, Airbnb and Lyft.