Glued to their cell phones, entitled, lazy, impulsive… these are some of the terms used by older generations to describe Millennials. And while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, naysayers might want to reconsider their judgement when they hear that Gen Y represents an estimated $2.45 trillion in spending power and have surpassed Baby Boomers as the most influential group in terms of consumption and employment.
As we spoke about in our Millennial Shopping Habits, Changing Brick & Mortar One Store at a Time post, brick and mortar retail locations are realizing that they have to do more if they want to keep buyers coming back. This means enticing them in a manner that’s more attractive than shopping at home in slippers and PJ’s (pretty hard to beat). Retailers are catching on and the standard for brick and mortar retail landscapes has vastly changed. You can now visit a blow-dry bar in stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom, grab a coffee or get a shave in Frank & Oak and if stores aren’t offering free WiFi to customers, they’re stuck way in the past. Constant competition with online stores has promoted this dramatic shift in consumer standards and traditional storefronts need to entice customers into entering the store and keep them browsing longer. Remember, Millennials may go for a specific product, but they’ll stay for the experience; and when this is successfully achieved, they’ll be Snapchatting and Instagramming the place like crazy.
As important as it is to have a digital presence, it’s tough to imagine a world where brick and mortar locations have become extinct. That need to feel a product, try it on and take part in the overall experience is something we, as consumers, have grown so accustom to and will always revert back to. It’s the retailers who ignore the need to adjust their traditional stores that will notice a hit in both profits and engagement.
Millennials have grown up in a world that is constantly offering them suggestions. Be it product, music or food, through e-commerce stores, Netflix, meal delivery and music streaming services like Spotify and Songza. Millennials like when a business takes the time to get to know their buying habits and interacts with them on a more personal level. A recent study done by Harris Poll showed that 74% of Millennials actually like receiving personal messages from retailers during in-store visits, and 81% enjoy retailers who stay in touch after their shopping trip. While most would think that all of those texts, emails and direct social messages get lost among all of the other offers, at the end of the day, they are appreciated and accepted.