How millennials are reshaping the in-store experience

Millennials are setting the bar high for retailers, bringing their online expectations of personalisation and convenience to high street stores.

Otherwise known as the Net Generation, they have grown up in an increasingly online and socially networked world. They are the 'me' generation - always on – connoisseurs of online content, demanding of entertainment, engagement and instant gratification.

They expect an individually tailored experience as they shop online and now they are throwing down the gauntlet to physical retail stores to create the same highly personalised and convenient shopping experience.

Millennials expect personal experiences

As millennial consumers and other mobile-connected shoppers walk into stores, free WiFi, accessed via their social networks, enables them to enjoy the interactive and custom-made shopping experience they expect. Increasingly, retailers are looking to WiFi to help them attract this audience.

By enabling customers to connect to WiFi, they have a means to deliver all sorts of enhancements to the shopping experience: access to a faster checkout via an exclusive, VIP lane; an SMS with a special gift or daily deal to be used immediately; or a personalised email with a coupon sent shortly after the store visit. Targeted and timely communications like these increase customer satisfaction and build loyalty among this discerning audience.

Of course, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing – and with the millennial demographic this is particularly true. Retailers must use the data they can access about their customers to understand and predict their behaviour. This makes it possible to create nuanced campaigns that feel authentic and valuable to each individual.

They can gain deep insights about customers from a variety of data sources – social WiFi can tell them about a customer’s age, gender, location, and interests; while heat mapping and zone flow information can enlighten them about customer journeys and the way they interact with the shop space.

Employing a wide range of data elements, they can transform their stores into ‘intelligent spaces’ that are better equipped for learning about customers and shaping business decisions. The millennial audience, especially, will appreciate this effort to give them the individual attention they anticipate.

Gavin Wheeldon, CEO of Purple

Image Credit: Shutterstock/iQoncept