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Millennials — who now total 83.1 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — are “radically reshaping” the in-store experience at retail.

Due to the generation’s deeply rooted connection to mobile devices, Millennials expect to have the same experience they have online in stores, according to a just-released research report and survey from Euclid Analytics and Harris Poll.

The poll, which the researchers said illuminates “consumers’ desire for an online shopping experience in the physical world,” also explored the differences between Millennials and Baby Boomers in regard to shopping preferences.

The research revealed that Millennial men and women who have a smartphone or other mobile device, “seek tailored experiences via in-store Wi-Fi.” They also want a more personalized experience, but the survey showed some differences between the genders in regard to what happens inside stores.

“Sixty-eight percent of men aged 18 to 34 who own a smartphone or tablet say that if a retailer or other business offered guest Wi-Fi, they would be very/somewhat likely to use it for getting faster check-out via an exclusive VIP lane,” the report noted. “On the other hand, nearly three quarters of women aged 18 to 34 who own a smartphone or tablet say they would be very/somewhat likely to use the guest Wi-Fi service to get instant access to an exclusive gift, daily deal, or coupon for that day’s purchase.”

The survey also showed that 53 percent of Millennial women “say that if a retailer, restaurant or other brand they’ve done business with used their personal customer history and data to provide personalized services, they’d be more loyal to that brand.”

Brent Franson, chief executive officer of Euclid Analytics, said the research “clearly illustrates a trend; Millennials and other mobile-connected consumers want from physical retail what they get online: a highly personalized and convenient shopping experience.”

Franson Wi-Fi can help connect “the physical and digital worlds.”

The researchers said while an “overarching trend of Millennial consumers wanting seamless, digital shopping experiences while they are in physical stores” emerged, a “one-size-fits-all approach will not work.”

“Brands must understand and act upon gender nuances to be successful and deliver a top-notch experience,” the researchers said.

For Baby Boomers, the survey showed similar preferences to the Millennials. “The pervasiveness of mobile devices has bridged the gap between Baby Boomers and Millennials,” the researchers said. “Based on the survey’s findings, 59 percent of people aged 55 and older say that they’d want to receive messages from a store through their mobile device during their visit.”

Overall, all of the respondents want more communications from retailers. “According to the survey findings, Americans don’t want the experience to end when they leave the store,” the researchers noted. “The survey found that an overwhelming 81 percent of Americans actually want to receive communications from a store following a recent visit.”

 

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