Who are millennial shoppers and what to expect in 2017

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Millennial shoppers are digital minded and are arguably better than any other generation at finding a bargain, largely because they are happy to spend a lot of time online looking at obscure websites from all over the world to find what they want at a price they like.

For this reason, companies spend a lot of time competing with each other and finding ways to get their products in front of millennials, who are often believed to be the main buyers in the market. However, lots of people are asking now if this generation are in fact that different to the shoppers before them. There is also much emphasis on what retailers should look to offer millennials in the coming year, as they become evermore connected and reliant on the digital marketplace.

Retailers have seen a rise in the speed at which shoppers want to receive their orders. There has also been a drive for integrated cloud technology, according to retail store, which gives us a basis of information for the year ahead, however all is not as it may seem.

We have to rethink the millennial shopper.

When thinking about millennials, most people imagine a person between the age of 18 and early 30s. This creates a picture of someone who is single, doesn’t have kids and is quite young without a solid career.

However, many people who are in this age group actually have families and stable careers that they are attempting to flourish. Most of them even own their own homes, some have previously been able to do this through UK government initiatives, like the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme. But does all this mean that a person who has all this isn’t a millennial anymore?

There is no doubt that millennials are an important consumer group today, so businesses have to rethink how they market the products and services to them.

shoppers

A report from Accenture found that large amounts of  people they spoke to – 6,000 total, 1,706 of which were millennials – are looking for the cheapest option when it comes to travel and will go to look at something in a shop before they buy it online.

This was the case for 55 per cent of people in the first instance and 41 per cent in the second, and includes people from the baby boomer generation, generation X and the millennial grouping.

What we can understand from this is that no matter how people purchase, they are largely interested in getting the best deal they can find.

Looking ahead to 2017, Retail Store points out three main things that are influencing the retail sector:

Mobile technology

Forrester Research has said that 4.8 billion people will be using smartphones across the world by the end of this year. Why is this? For the most part, it’s because it is a gateway for shoppers between digital and physical retail experiences.

mobile-technology

M-technology is becoming vastly important to how people do their shopping, which means that businesses need to ensure their in-store customer experience is optimised for mobile devices.

Personalisation and fast service

As we mentioned above, we are living in a world where expectations of receiving information or products quickly is of paramount importance.

Consumers expect point of sale transactions, delivery and returns to be instantaneous and as businesses continue to supply to this demand people will expect to see speed of retail experiences improved.

Not only this, but shoppers also like to feel engaged by the companies they buy their products from, so personalised options will also always go down well with your audience.

Omni-experience

It seems that next year will be the time for retailers to focus on creating a customer omni-experience. This means that companies will start to increase their use of cloud-based systems and retail management platforms in order to give retailers access to real time data on every aspect of a consumer transaction.

By doing this, businesses will be able to find where the holes are in the entire shopping process and improve it to offer consumers a seamless experience.

This is the real key to make retail industry a success in 2017; giving customers an excellent overall experience.

According to Gartner, the majority of market leaders are going to be using customer experience as their way to monitor success against their competitors. Those who adapt quickly and without incident to using in-store technology, mobile, cloud and even social media are going to be the businesses that come out on top over the coming year.

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