Why Your Brick and Mortar Strategy Should Target Millennial Shoppers
Physical retail is not dead. Contrary to what we’ve all been told, Millennial shoppers actually enjoy going to brick and mortar stores. CouponFollow and SmartHQ, both marketing firms, paint a slightly different picture of Millennial shopping patterns that should have retailers re-thinking how they approach this large consumer base.
CouponFollow and SmartHQ have shown in their research that 50% of Millennials continue to favor brick-and-mortar shopping experiences in comparison to shopping online. Surprisingly, younger members of the Millennial generation (ages 20-23), favor shopping in-store by an extra 8% bringing its total to 58%, five percentage points higher than the generational average. (1)
This leaves retailers in an interesting place, as many, searching to connect with Millenials have put their marketing resources into comprehensive digital marketing plans, however, their actions are not entirely misguided. Millenial shoppers do a lot of their shopping, at least initially, online or through apps - “just over three-quarters of millennials (76%) browse the internet before buying anything, online or off, with 67% buying from a brick and mortar store after doing research and 33% buying online”
What does this data tell us? Millenials shop in a pattern we will reference as multi-stage shopping. To put it simply, Millenials will almost always check out a brand/product online before they walk into a store, then will test-drive items in the store, often-times going home to purchase the item afterward. If anything, this multi-stage shopping pattern tells us that companies should not abandon brick and mortar, but should instead breath new life into them.
Retailers should look at their physical locations more as showrooms and less like traditional storefronts. Those who refuse to innovate their physical locations will be left behind by millennial consumers, who are beginning to reach their peak spending years. Brands should look to fuse together the online and offline shopping experience by adopting a hybrid approach to business designed to empower authentic consumer engagement — across a rapidly evolving suite of channels and platforms in a new retail environment.