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In-store Customer Experience Alive and Well Among Millennials

So many loyalty marketers would love to know what exactly makes millennials tick from a customer engagement/customer experience perspective, what kinds of technology options they prefer, and where they like to shop.

Like their Generation Z counterparts, millennials like to shop and engage with brands in-store as well as online, which means your loyalty program needs to be seamlessly integrated across digital and physical properties to accommodate your millennial customers.

A new report from SmarterHQ says that, as retailers adapt to the increased use of digital and online shopping methods, many companies have shifted their omnichannel marketing efforts to focus heavily on the online shopper, especially the younger, more tech-savvy millennials.

But, the report reveals that 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. “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. This further emphasizes the need for strategic personalization, in an industry still plagued by mass marketing techniques.”

Here are some key additional survey findings that loyalty marketers should consider when developing strategies to target millennials:

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 prefers one to three 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 millennial 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: 70 percent of millennials are frustrated by brands sending irrelevant emails, and prefer to receive personalized emails offering certain information such as sale notifications for previously carted items, sale notifications for previously browsed items or categories, and recommended products based on their interests.

To review the survey findings and additional tips that retail marketers can use to help create effective personalized marketing campaigns, you can download the report, “Millennials: Where they shop, how they shop, why it matters.”

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