Window shopping, or faire de lèche-vitrine as the French call it, is one of the best ways to enjoy retail therapy, as it’s a good way to piece together outfits, home styling and even menus without actually spending any money.
As Mashable has said, “ever since there were shops, people have enjoyed window shopping,” and this is a habit that is still popular today, although its form has changed somewhat thanks to the digital world we live in.
A popular millennial habit is that of adding items to wishlists on online vendors’ websites, which means that you can save potential purchases without actually parting with any money. Mashable refers to this as false consumerism and notes that millennials can often be described as fauxsumers, which are someone who shop online without the intent of buying anything.
Trend Central did a survey on this idea of fauxsumerism, the results of which identified that millennials tend to be browsers rather than buyers. They tend to create wishlists or save items for two main reasons: to engage with brands or to act as though they had bought something, even though they didn’t have the money for their items in the first place.
Of course, this online browsing isn’t just limited to buying clothes or furniture, as millennials are often to be found surfing the internet, looking for holidays. People can be looking for places to go on vacation and hotels to stay in at any time of day, including late at night, first thing in the morning and when they’re procrastinating at work – the latter of which is particularly popular.
There are several reasons why people do this, primarily because it’s a good way to plan ahead and make sure that you’re getting the best deal for your trip, as you can often knock money off the price of a holiday by booking early. Similarly, browsing holidays and hotels can be an enjoyable way to spend your time, looking at attractions and places that you want to see during your downtime to enjoy yourself.
Browsing holidays can be a much happier way to pass the time, than thinking about all the mundanities of everyday working life. By imagining yourself in a luxurious hotel room in the M by Montcalm Shoreditch Hotel London, you can find your mood improved and give yourself something positive to focus on.
Alternatively, someone you know may have recently been on a holiday or stayed somewhere nice and you want to have a look at it for yourself, in case you’d like to go there in the future.
Of course, in its oldest form, browsing is the best way to make sure you get the best deal available. Accenture conducted market research that looked at how 6,000 people did their shopping, which included speaking to 1,707 millennials. Across this generation, baby boomers and Generation X, 41 per cent of people said that they enjoyed what is known as show-rooming. This pattern of behaviour involves looking at something in a physical shop and then going online to see if they can find the same thing at a cheaper price.
This can be done with hotels too, as you can go into their reception and ask for a quote on room prices, then go online where there are usually internet-specific deals and prices.
As most people are now just as happy browsing instead of actually buying, this can pose a problem when it comes to converting your consumer into purchasing something from you.
However, all is not lost, as you simply need to change the way that you deal with your customers and you need to rely on different techniques to ensure that you’re building a good relationship with potential buyers.
One of the best ways to turn someone from browsing to buying is by presenting the viewer with reviews and ratings. As there are so many ways to get information on hotels and holidays, you need to set yourself apart, and people who are ‘just looking’ are likely to trust peer reviews that support the statements you make about your products or hotel.
It’s a good idea to give people incentive to come and see your hotel too, for example by running an event that is free to attend. This will allow them to come and see you in a neutral setting and potential guests will have the chance to see what your hotel looks like, how great the staff are and how delicious the food is without having to have booked a room.
Millennials in particular are known for being loyal to brands, especially if they are given an incentive with a free gift or evening event at your hotel. Build the trust and cyber window shoppers are more than likely to become actual paying customers.
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