Just as their predecessors have done during their times, the members of the millennial generation, also called Generation Y and who are about 80 million in number, are now shaking up norms as society sees it. It can be primarily felt in the workforce culture, as the once customer-centric industry has now shifted to an employee-centric one. However, it does not stop there.
Due to the sudden influx of millennials in the market, with the aid of technological advancements, millennial behaviour has led to a few major revisions in the shopping and retail industry, which is known to adapt to changes as quickly as culture does.
Below are some of the ways millennial behaviour has affected current retail patterns, as founded by recent research.
Ease of Access and Versatility
Like their Generation Z successor, millennials grew up with the modernisation of technology. As most people know, the more tech improves, the better functionality it has for its users. This is why the internet, along with smartphones, tablets, and computers, are now used in every aspect of everyday life, including shopping.
Most consumers nowadays prefer to do their shopping online due to its convenience. From anywhere, be it in the comfort of their homes or on the train to work, they can purchase any item they want from any online shop, from safety clothing and fashion wear to groceries and home tools.
Unfortunately, this online behaviour has affected traditional retailers, also known as brick-and-mortar sellers. With how much they have been struggling to retain and gain more customers, many have either shut down some of their branches, or adapted with the technology in hopes of catching up with the power of online shopping.
Improved Shopping Experience
Millennials are known to prioritize their experiences. This is why some traditional stores have turned to experiential commerce to cope with the changes to retail culture. Essentially, experiential retail occurs when a store tailors a shopping experience beyond offering its products to the customers who enter a physical store.
Some events may include art, live music, virtual reality, cafes, and large video display walls. A brand that is known for its work with experiential retail is Apple, which offers tester gadgets in all of its stores. When it is time for a new product launch, the brand is known for opening with a talk about the functionalities offered by the new device, while they offer refreshments to attendees.
Aside from experiential retail, brick-and-mortar shops have also adapted by integrating the digital experience to their businesses. Some local shops have started introducing the option to purchase products online, and for customers to make returns within the allotted time period to their physical shops.
Millennials are perceived by the public to be glued to their phones. This is why many businesses have turned to data-driven information to tailor customer experiences. By using digital marketing, companies can further reach this generation and the next, from all over the world.
They can also gather information from social media sites to decipher what products are considered ‘hot’ right now for consumers, and which ones are not doing so well. This allows companies to boost the presence of the products that need attention while keeping track of things such as inventories for the ones that are selling well.
In order for a business to thrive in the ever-changing landscape of the retail industry, it should be capable of constantly adapting to technological advances. The millennial generation will not cease to use technology, and their buying power will only continue to grow in the future.