RedPrairie Corporation, a global supply chain and retail technology provider, has announced the availability of The Millennial Report, a study conducted to help retailers and manufacturers better understand the shopping habits of Generation Y (Gen Y), also known as Millennials, and how to effectively communicate with this group of tech-savvy 18-to-29-year olds.
The focus group, conducted at Los Angeles’ Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, included several Millennial panellists as well as an audience of retailers and brands. The study revealed that Gen Y panellists want to engage with retailers but on their own terms.
While some characteristics remained consistent with Gen Y expectations – tech-savvy, confident, independent, determined, global-minded – the panellists revealed that they are more likely to rely on social media for insight and opinions but prefer traditional brick-and-mortar stores for making purchases.
Despite a preference for in-store purchases, the panel reinforced the need for retailers and manufacturers to be present "everywhere," including online, QR codes in store, mobile apps, social media and other channels.
"Successful engagement with Millennial consumers is about adding value to their shopping experience and respecting both their privacy and their preferred methods of communication," said David Bruno, director of corporate messaging at RedPrairie. "The good news is, Gen Y consumers are not shy about having their voices heard."
According to the report, key points to follow when engaging Millennial consumers include:
· Respect their time: Recognise preferences and make meaningful recommendations.
· Pick your spots: Make strategic advertising decisions and avoid bombarding at every channel.
· Be there: Develop the versatility to be available across all selling channels and social media so no need goes unmet.
· Opinions matter: Facilitate peer communication to help build brand awareness and loyalty.
· Connect the dots: Connect store, customer and direct channel to make transactions seamless and keep customers coming back.
"When it comes to trying to satisfy Millennials, the bottom line for brands is adaptability," said Bruno. "One minute they want to shop and compare online and via every social networking site available, and the next they want to purchase in store. Retailers essentially need to provide ‘endless aisle’ capabilities in every channel and location. When marketing to Millennials, retailers and brands must strike a balance between personalising the shopping experience via individualised product information and not overwhelming or overstepping perceived boundaries of privacy. It’s a challenge to meet these seemingly conflicting expectations, but with the right technology and integration in place, it’s achievable."