Millennials Place Higher Value On Brick And Mortar Retail Than Other Generations. Here’s Why.

If you think that today’s Millennials want to live in an exclusively digital world, think again. According to a new report by eMarketer, Millennials actually care more about the existence of brick and mortar retail than their Gen X and Baby Boomer predecessors.

While it might be surprising to people who view Millennials as “digitally-obsessed”, a whopping 82% of Millennials believe it is important for brands to have a brick and mortar presence. This number falls to 69% for Gen X and 65% for Baby Boomers.

This surprisingly high percentage stems from the fact that Millennials have a strong desire for “brand experiences” when they shop. As a generation that highly values experiences over material goods, it takes much more than just a great product to win their loyalty. Brand values, brand perception and brand experience all play a role when Millennials decide where they want to place their loyalty. Because of this, delivering personalized and memorable brick and mortar experiences are key to winning with this important consumer segment.

Although Millenials have certainly contributed to the growth of ecommerce, they are leading the charge when it comes to cross-channel shopping. Millennials are rarely without their smartphones, which they use on a regular basis while they shop in brick and mortar stores. And Millennials are the most likely demographic to take advantage of buy online, pick up in-store services.

One of the most effective ways for brick and mortar retailers to deliver more engaging experiences is by taking advantage of technology that brings the digital world into the store. Popular Millennial retailer Rebecca Minkoff has been ahead of the curve when it comes to in-store technology, incorporating smart walls and smart mirrors into many of their stores. For many other retailers, mobile is playing a key role in their efforts to transform the store into a connected shopping environment. By taking advantage of digital location signals and mobile presence technology, these retailers are engaging Millennial shoppers with highly relevant and personalized digital content and services delivered to their smartphones at precise locations within the store.

As Millennials continue to come into significant buying power, it is critical that retailers capture their interest. While the quality of the product does matter, it is the value of the shopping experience that will become a distinguishing factor for Millennials. By investing in technology to enhance the in-store shopping experience, retailers will be rewarded with spend and loyalty from this increasingly important demographic.

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