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Millennial Shopping Habits Changing Brick & Mortar One Store At A Time



shoppingWith $600 billion in spending power annually, Millennial shopping habits are becoming very important to businesses. Especially since this number is expected to increase to a whopping $1.4 trillion over the next four years. Coupled with the fact that they account for 30% of all retail sales, brands are constantly thinking of new ways to win them over.

Traditional brick and mortar retailers have been quick to jump on the e-commerce bandwagon in order to stay in the digital game.  However, not all shopping is strictly done online. Millennials love to research products and read reviews online before going to purchase them in store.  Rather than throwing in the towel on traditional store front shopping, looking for new ways to keep shoppers engaged is more important than ever to keep foot traffic high in stores.

Leveraging technology can prove incredibly powerful in tracking purchase trends in terms of store layout, window displays and rebates.  Beacon triggered marketing is a form of proximity marketing, where buyers receive a notification with product information and rewards via Bluetooth connectivity when they are in range of an in store beacon. In a survey conducted by Swirl, 73% of respondents said that they were more likely to buy in store when they received beacon triggered content. Brands such as Lord & Taylor, Hudson’s Bay, Kenneth Cole, and Timberland have successfully implemented such strategies in their stores. Another way to create techy shopping experiences is through mobile apps that are integrated into in-store shopping. Walgreens has created an app that allows users to access product information and fill prescriptions electronically. It can also be synced to the user’s Fitbit or other fitness tracking device to gain rewards for physical activity, which are redeemable in store. Gain rewards for walking? Sounds easy enough.

In an attempt to streamline the checkout process, Walgreens has integrated Apple Pay to automatically apply available discounts and promotions.  Nordstrom is also recognizing the importance of social media and fashion, by placing signs on their shoes that indicate how many pins each style has garnered on Pinterest, bringing your Pinterest board to life.

While technology is sure to keep Millennials engaged, let’s not forget about integrating good old fashioned fun to keep shopping experiences memorable and shareable. Active wear retailer, Moosejaw, has recently opened a Kansas City location featuring an in store ping pong table and Nerf Gun battle zone! Being dragged in by a boyfriend or girlfriend and find yourself bored? Simply pick up a paddle and play away while they shop.  Another example is that of an Urban Outfitters in New York; equipped with a coffee shop, hair salon, and multiple photo booths to create a highly experiential environment, transforming the space into more than just a clothing store and creating a full experience for shoppers.

While shopping online is only growing in popularity due to convenience and availability, brands should not overlook the power of personalization.  Creating a space that Millennials are drawn to may be the key to keep them shopping in store. According to an iModerate study, 74% think that stores should have a physical location as opposed to operating solely online.  Millennials aren’t quite ready to ditch the traditional shopping experience just yet, you may however need to invest in a petting zoo or pinball machine.