Full-circle retail PR: Why Millennials prefer shopping in-store

by | Aug 29, 2017 | Public Relations

As retailers adapt to the increased use of digital and online shopping methods, many companies have logically shifted their omnichannel marketing efforts to focus heavily on the online shopper—especially for younger, more tech-savvy millennials.

But according to a new report from multichannel behavioral marketing platform SmarterHQ, 50 percent of millennials actually prefer shopping in-store—meaning some retailers may be missing the mark in engaging this 80-million-strong demographic.

“While we’re seeing much more mobile traffic than we ever have in previous years, especially with the younger buyer, our survey found that brick-and-mortar is alive and well with millennials, and the need for a strong, well-executed and cohesive omnichannel presence beyond online is key when capturing millennial spend,” said Michael Osborne, CEO of SmarterHQ, in a news release.

Why Millennials prefer shopping in-store

“Another finding that stood out was that while security may be a concern with older shoppers, 70 percent of millennials are actually comfortable with retailers tracking their purchasing and browsing behaviors, if it means they’ll receive more relevant communications,” he added. “This further emphasizes the need for strategic personalization, in an industry still plagued by mass marketing techniques.”

Why Millennials prefer shopping in-store

Additional survey findings retail executives and marketers should keep in mind when targeting millennials include:

Millennials are distracted

Ninety-five percent of this demographic are doing other things while shopping, including working, watching TV, or talking to friends. Real-time, personalized communications can break through the distractions.

Don’t bombard millennials with marketing tactics

Seventy-four percent of millennials said they are frustrated with too many marketing communications, and the majority prefer 1-3 marketing emails per month. Quality, not quantity—with relevant content—will make those emails truly count.

Brand loyalty is limited

Only 6.5 percent of millennials respondents considered themselves brand loyal, however, those who prefer personalized communications have a 28 percent higher brand loyalty than those who do not.

Personalized emails trump batch and blast

Seventy percent of millennials are frustrated by brands sending irrelevant emails, and prefer to receive personalized emails offering certain info like sale notifications for previously carted items, sale notifications for previously browsed items or categories, and recommended products based on their interests.

Download the report here.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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