For many fashion businesses, cracking the digital code means understanding how Millennials use technology and think about shopping.

This story first appeared in the October 8, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

In that vein, Jag Bath, senior vice president of product at RetailMeNot Inc., offered a portrait of Lucy, a composite Millennial consumer, who is both very digital and very on-the-go.

Bath said 80 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. have smartphones and that majority of those smartphone users check their phones 150 times a day.

“She’s never more than three feet away from her phone,” he said.

But even though she has a smartphone, she still likes stores.

“Shopping is an experience for her,” Bath said. “She’s actually spending so much time on mobile and in the digital space researching [purchases], and when it actually comes to fashion in particular, she wants to touch, feel and try on those clothes. We actually see Lucy Webrooming more than she is showrooming.”

That means this customer is researching a potential purchase online, but actually buying in stores.

Bath said marketers are in many cases missing Lucy.

“When you look at mobile, 20 percent of time spent is on mobile for Lucy, but only 4 percent of ad spend is on mobile,” he said.

Retailers are also buying promotional radio while Lucy is listening online.

That and other imbalances equaled a $30 billion mismatch in advertising spend in the U.S. last year, Bath said.

However, there are both established and developing techniques brands can use to zero in on the Millennial shopper.

Bath pointed to geofencing and beacons that help brands reach users on their smartphones by sending them alerts when they’re near stores.

“This [geofencing] technology that was pretty nascent a couple years ago has really become more established,” he said. “What it allows you to do is connect and contextualize a little bit more.”

Bath also noted that brands can collect data to better personalize service for specific shoppers and optimize their e-mail marketing, understanding that many messages are opened on phones.

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