84% of Millennials use mobile when shopping in physical stores

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Fifty-three percent of Millennials continue to shop in a physical store. However, this mobile generation is still under the influence of their smartphone while in-store. But, instead of seeing mobile devices as a disruptor, Alliance Data encourages retailers to embrace in-store mobile use.

Most Millennials use a mobile in-store to make their shopping experience easier, or cheaper, or both. Almost all (84%) of Millennials claim to use their mobile phone for shopping assistance when in-store. A third (34%) use mobile to check product information, and 22% to consult with friends about a purchase.

“Retailers need to embrace mobile as part of the path to purchase,” says Tom Colven, senior analyst of strategic insights group at Alliance Data. “When they see a shopper in the store using a mobile device, it is likely they are seeking support for their purchase, either to know they are getting a good price or that their peer group is providing positive feedback before they get to the checkout. Any brick-and-mortar retailers that do not embrace mobile at this point and latch on to key moments (like the Pokemon Go phenomenon of this summer, for example) risk being left behind by competitors.”

Post-purchase, mobile continues to play a role. Sixteen percent share their purchase on social media, while others might share unboxing information or details of their shopping experience.

Earlier this year, research from iModerate Research Technologies found that, despite digital being an integral part of their lives, younger generations are actually more likely to say it is important that a brand has a physical store.

Younger generations were more likely to think it important that brands have a physical store (82% Millennials / 80% Gen Z) than older generations (69% Gen X / 65% Boomer).
For Generation Z and Millennials, physical stores are all about “reassurance” and “efficiency” respectively. Furthermore, they want immediate satisfaction and are put off by the delivery times associated with online shopping, as well as the cost. Millennials particularly value the ability to “quickly get in and get out” of a store having purchased exactly what they wanted due to their busy lives and limited free time. According to iModerate, “They’re drawn to the one-stop nature of big box stores, but will spend more money elsewhere if they feel that it’ll be more convenient”.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristina Knight is a freelance writer based in Ohio, United States. She began her career in radio and television broadcasting, focusing her energies on health and business reporting. After six years in the industry, Kristina branched out on her own. Since 2001, her articles have appeared in Family Delegate, Credit Union Business, FaithandValues.com and with Threshold Media.