Half of millennials choose physical stores first

Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
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Millennials may be digital natives, but they also enjoy shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, according to a survey from SmarterHQ.

As retailers adapt to the increased use of digital and online shopping methods, many companies have shifted their omnichannel marketing efforts to focus heavily on the online shopper, especially for the younger, more tech-savvy millennials.

But according to a new report from SmarterHQ, a multichannel behavioral marketing platform, 50% of millennials actually prefer shopping in-store – meaning some retailers may be missing the mark in engaging this 80 million strong demographic.

“While we’re seeing much more mobile traffic than we ever have in previous years, especially with the younger buyer, our survey found that brick-and-mortar is alive and well with millennials, and the need for a strong, well-executed and cohesive omnichannel presence beyond online is key when capturing millennial spend,” said Michael Osborne, CEO of SmarterHQ. “Another finding that stood out was that while security may be a concern with older shoppers, 70% of millennials are actually comfortable with retailers tracking their purchasing and browsing behaviors, if it means they’ll receive more relevant communications. This further emphasizes the need for strategic personalization, in an industry still plagued by mass marketing techniques.”

Additional survey findings retail executives and marketers should keep in mind when targeting millennials include:

  • Millennials are distracted: 95% of this demographic are doing other things while shopping, including working, watching TV, or talking to friends. Real-time, personalized communications can break through the distractions.
  • Don’t bombard millennials with marketing tactics: 74% of millennials said they are frustrated with too many marketing communications, and the majority prefer 1-3 marketing emails per month. Quality not quantity – with relevant content – will make those emails truly count.
  • Brand loyalty is limited: Only 6.5% of millennials respondents considered themselves brand loyal, however, those who prefer personalized communications have a 28% higher brand loyalty than those who do not.
  • Personalized emails trump batch and blast: 70% of millennials are frustrated by brands sending irrelevant emails, and prefer to receive personalized emails offering certain info like sale notifications for previously carted items, sale notifications for previously browsed items or categories, and recommended products based on their interests.