Creating a millennial-friendly retail environment
What lengths should companies go to to make retail spaces ideal for young shoppers?
Millennials are now the group to watch, with sellers of large-ticket items such as cars suddenly finding themselves selling to the up-and-coming generation. According to CNBC, Youbrand puts the total spending the global spending power of the millennial generation at $2.45 trillion.
What does a millennial-friendly sales environment look like? That is the question companies will have to answer on the fly as they encounter waves of new buyers with enough cash to make an impact but different tastes from the generations that came before them. Customer engagement for digital-native buyers will involve new technologies and strategies designed to suit them.
"Leaders can alter physical stores to suit modern consumers."
Raised on technology
Today's in-store retail strategies should be rich in high-tech experiences, playing on the expectations of consumers and the environment in which they were raised. Globe St. recently interviewed PREIT CEO Joseph Coradino, whose company is responsible for retail spaces totaling 29 million square feet, about how in-person selling can adapt to suit the expectations of this rising group. He explained, for instance, that businesses should not expect their stores to become ghost towns overnight - 90 percent of millennial shoppers intend to shop in person this year just as much as last year, if not more.
Instead of cutting back on physical store locations to suit a digital marketplace, leaders can alter them with the preferences of modern consumers in mind. Coradino suggested bringing together corporate digital strategies and in-person amenities. The CEO revealed that 92 percent of shoppers have an idea of what they want to buy by the time they arrive at a store. Allowing those customers to follow through smoothly on that intent, and upselling them on additional items, will become key retail priorities.
Ideal form of media
Organizations of all types will no doubt be searching for technology and content to fit the digital and physical model. The ideal way to deliver information, according to a recent Animoto report, may be video. The source focused on online consumption of video, but retailers may have equal success deploying this content in person, employing digital kiosks with large and sharp screens. In this case, the videos pull double duty, intriguing potential buyers at home and acting as great advertising pitches to shoppers who have made the journey to a physical showroom.
Short video clips are compelling marketing elements, online or in person.
The types of videos recommended by the Animoto research seem poised to work equally well as part of a website or on a kiosk. Namely, the source found that consumers are interested in product demonstration clips and pieces that explain a business's unique identity, as well as testimonials from past buyers. Buyers at the beginning of the purchase process can view these types of clips at home to decide where to shop and what to purchase once they arrive.
Importantly, Animoto's study also asked consumers how long such content should be, and they responded: Almost two-thirds of respondents called for short clips, ones that clock in at one minute or under. Quick branded videos are a direct dispatch from a business to a consumer, one that holds appeal even in a tech-saturated age. Clips that make their point in under 15 seconds, backed up with longer informational pieces, are ideal for kiosk use.
The millennial shopper is not averse to going into a store to make a purchase. Companies must rethink their physical spaces to ensure that these young buyers find an experience that fits their needs and expectations. Changing the experience with great IT content that fits with the overall company's brand may be the connection leaders need.