Millennials still prefer stores to online

Almost three-quarters of Millennials still prefer stores to online shopping, according to a new report.

Brand experience consultancy I-AM surveyed 2,000 18-to-35 year-olds living in several UK cities, finding that 74 per cent prefer physical stores, compared to just 26 per cent favouring online shopping.

The study also showed that 80 per cent went shopping as a day trip in the last month, with 50 per cent of those going in the last week.

However, the research did reveal that 51 per cent would like to navigate, get information and pay using their mobile phone instore, while 46 per cent said staff hinder the shopping experience. In fact, 70 per cent would prefer staff to be just at the pay point, while 28 per cent would happily shop without staff.

Backing suggestions that bricks and mortar retail should become more experiential, 45 per cent of the Millennials surveyed said they would revisit stores that offered workshops and tutorials, while 23 per cent just want to shop. A further 49 per cent said the most loved element of the in-store experience was touching and trying things out.

I-AM group partner Pete Champion commented: “Shopping has become relative - relative to context, person and place and has moulded into four dimensions of space and time - shopping is no longer about the what and where, but the how and when.”

Meanwhile, research by Honeywell and YouGov found that the majority of retailers (56 percent) believe they are not adequately meeting their customers’ expectations.

However, 6 out of 10 retailers believe new technology could be the answer to the retail industry’s digital transformation, aimed at enhancing the in-store shopping experience and increasing revenues.

Karen Bomber, director or retail industry marketing at Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions, said retailers are looking at ways to provide modern, mobile technology to deliver a quality shopping experience.

“Nearly 67 percent of retailers are considering increasing the use of mobile devices, such as handheld computers and tablets, in their stores,” she stated.

“The study also revealed that merchants are considering investments in big data and predictive analytics technologies to improve efficiency in their retail operations.”

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