For retailers, PWC’s Total Retail 2016 study (PDF) has a wealth of useful information about shopper behavior. But one statistic stood out for me because it’s so surprising: Millennial customers actually shop at physical stores more — not less — than other generations.
Of course, that’s not to say that Millennials don’t shop online. Eleven percent do so daily, 28 percent weekly and 40 percent monthly. However, 16 percent of the younger Millennials (aged 18-24) buy products in a physical store daily. That’s more than any other age group, and impressive even to me. (And I’m practically a professional shopper.)
There are many reasons Millennials — both the younger crowd and those up to age 34 — are so desirable as retail consumers. First, the obvious: They are the future, and the older Millennials are rapidly moving into their prime earning and spending years as they get married, buy homes and start families.
However, Millennials as a whole are also less price-conscious and more brand-loyal than other age groups. Frequent shoppers, willing to spend and loyal to your brand – so how can you get your hands on these valuable Millennial customers?
How to Attract Millennial Customers
A whopping 80 percent of Millennials use their mobile devices in-store to research products and compare prices — more than any other age group. They also rely more on peer reviews online while shopping in-store, and they’re likely to get their friends’ advice on purchases by sending product photos. Make it easy for visitors to do all this quickly (and still keep their data costs down) by setting up a guest WiFi network that doesn’t require a password or login. (You should keep your own WiFi network separate for security.)
Make it Easy
Because Millennial customers do so much of their own research on their mobile phones, they don’t care as much about knowledgeable salespeople as older generations do. They value convenience more than other generations, and one reason they shop in-store so often is so they can get the product in hand immediately. Don’t stand in their way! Millennials rank “ease of checkout” as very important to their in-store experience. Speed things up by providing your salespeople with tablets and/or smartphones they can use to check customers out on the sales floor so they don’t have to wait in line.