The last generation of the 20th century, Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. They’re often considered the inaugural digital generation and are highly intuitive and social media savvy. Typically, Millennials want to save and invest their money in a socially responsible manner, preferring brands that are committed to sustainability and ethical practices.
Online isn’t the be-all and end-all
Undoubtedly, Millennials are savvy online shoppers. After all, e-commerce is a quick, convenient, and effortless way to complete myriad online transactions. That being said, the entire shopping experience doesn’t need to be online. Brick-and-mortar stores will continue playing a critical role in the customer experience, particularly where advertising and consumer awareness are concerned. Research shows that 68% of Millennials favour a seamless omnichannel experience, meaning they prefer to transition between online and physical stores to find the products that they want.
The power of the experience
Millennials spend more money doing things than buying things. Brands that recognise this and adapt to these shifting behaviour patterns are better positioned to deliver compelling retail experiences to this segment of the market. Impactful in-store experiences are known to improve loyalty and help brands to humanise their products. For instance, 60% of Millennials feel more loyal to brands that they can interact with physically. The way to cater to this demographic is to deliver compelling, unique, and immersive experiences. By investing in skilled and motivated staff and curating a captivating store, you can provide the perfect space for Millennials to come together to flourish. But consider the fact that 71% of Millennials seek out nostalgic activities, so make sure you come up with engaging experiences that invite your clients to escape.
Following the pandemic, community has never been more crucial. People are coming together more than ever to help their communities, and there’s no doubt that shoppers will continue to demand more from the brands they choose. Millennials want to buy from brands that are authentic and purpose-driven, as opposed to those that are merely concerned with financial gain. Don’t forget – Millennials can smell a sales pitch from miles away and will turn a blind eye to polished adverts that are without sustenance. So, to truly appeal to Millennials, businesses need to deliver real-time responses and facilitate real-time engagement. You can do this by being creative and delivering a tailored shopping experience. It also pays to support the development of your community, as 60% of Millennials and Gen Z agree that they are more likely to favour businesses that gave back during the Covid-19 crisis than those that didn’t.
Consumers are now demanding that brands produce items that are genuinely sustainable. 60% of Millennials are more intentional with their shopping habits and the impact that their choices have on the natural environment. Prominent online influencers have made inroads into changing Millennial attitudes towards unsustainable products, and the throw-away culture is no longer seen as acceptable. It should be the goal of brands to empower shoppers with sustainable products and choices, and having a physical store presence is an excellent starting point to raise awareness about sustainable products. Another thing to realise is that Millennials prefer to invest in organisations that have a positive impact in the world, so don’t overlook your corporate social responsibility.
Multichannel is key
Millennials expect a degree of technology to be utilised in every experience, so your in-store experience needs to reflect recent advances. Think virtual product displays, digital kiosks, and augmented reality to give shoppers a unique and compelling experience. However, don’t overlook the value of the human touch. Be sure to combine digital and in-store experiences to provide Millennials with precisely what they’re looking for. The most successful retailers today are those that are digitally minded, but the personal human touch in-store will never go out of favour.
The key takeaways for retailers
Millennials are a key consumer segment, and you need to know how to interact with them. They also make up the largest sector of the current workforce, so their influence on society is huge. Millennials will consciously seek out brands that act with purpose and add significant value to the customer experience. So, in addition to online retail experiences, engage Millennial shoppers with impressive in-store experiences.
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