Retailers need to up their game with millennials, says GlobalData

Retailers need to realign their business strategies to appeal to millennials, GlobalData has argued.

The data and analytics company has advised retailers to reassess their business strategy and technological prowess by benchmarking their store layouts, systems and processes against the shopping preferences of millennials and post-millennials, who are going to redefine the future of retail.

Time-pressed millennial consumers are looking for convenience and flexibility, GlobalData said, and expect a seamless omni-channel experience, which combines online shopping, mobile apps and visits to physical stores.

Figures from GlobalData revealed that more than half of purchases made by millennials still take place in bricks-and-mortar stores.

However, it argued that these types of consumers need to be given an incentive to visit a store, such as an entertaining environment, strong brands that they can identify themselves with and recreational facilities, such as in-store cafes or experiences in the form of memorable product demonstrations and trials.

Andreas Olah, digital retail analyst at GlobalData, said: “Retailers also need to work on their social media strategies and integrate these with loyalty programmes, customer service functions, and various mobile apps, from style advisers and games to third-party apps that provide voucher schemes. They look to cooperate with strong brands that are popular with millennials.”

Millennials primarily use mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, as well as wearables such as smart watches and augmented reality devices, to interact with retailers and make purchases.

Since they do this on the move, GlobalData has suggested that retailers invest in various geo-fencing and tracking tools, such as Light Fidelity (Li-Fi), which detects a shopper’s location by sending light signals to their smartphone’s camera.

This would enable retailers to detect a consumer’s location and provide store or aisle-specific content and notifications to encourage interaction and purchases, said GlobalData.

Mr Olah added: “While some millennials may object to being tracked and value data protection, the majority are happy to share at least some data if they get something valuable in return, such as greater personalisation, more convenient way-finding, special offers, and the ability to complete multichannel purchasing journeys in stores.”