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Retail research: Insights into millennial shopping behavior patterns

Accenture research sheds light on millennial shopping behavior and retail trends that are impacting this savvy audience.

Overview

As part of this research, we discovered that millennials are much like other shoppers—just a whole lot more connected. They have come to expect a seamless shopping experience and won’t hang around if they don’t find it. For retailers, the message is clear: Give them what they want, when they want it or risk losing them.

Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, make up a trillion-dollar demographic and are transforming shopping for everyone. If retailers want to give millennials the seamless experience they have come to expect, they must radically change the way they operate.

For more information, you may also view the Accenture Outlook article, "Who are the Millennial shoppers? And what do they really want?"

Accenture’s seamless journey starts with understanding consumer preferences and ends with helping retailers deliver that seamless experience. View the full results of our latest research study and learn more about building a seamless retail enterprise of the future at www.accenture.com/seamless.

Watch the video series below to find out what matters to the millennial shoppers and the experience they seek.

Background

Accenture surveyed 6,000 consumers in eight countries around the globe about their shopping behavior. Our findings show a significant gap between expectations and reality.

Many retailers have invested in capabilities to provide shoppers with the ability to purchase via different channels. They have also invested in capturing customer data and delivering targeted email marketing and coupons.

However, many retailers are still behind on making an impact with millennials when it comes to providing a connected shopping experience—with integrated merchandising, flexible fulfilment options and value-added services that make the overall shopping experience better, faster and more memorable.

Millenial Myth #1-Video

It's all about online shopping
Accenture interviews millennial shoppers and confirms recent survey results on retail trends and their preference for online versus in-store shopping.

Millennial shoppers are not just going online to make their purchases and skipping the in-store experience. This generation is using the online channel to become smarter, better-informed customers, but they still want to see what they are buying, ask questions and try things on.

However, they want an integrated, seamless shopping experience. They expect to find the same merchandise, same pricing, same discounts whether in-store, online or on their mobile device.

Watch this video to see how Accenture busts the myth around online shopping being the preferred option for the millennial customer.

Millenial Myth #2-Video

Loyalty is lost
Accenture interviews millennial shoppers and confirms recent survey results on retail trends and the impact of customer service on loyalty toward retailers.

Winning over millennial shoppers and retaining their loyalty can be hard but not impossible. The answer lies in offering excellent customer service in addition to loyalty programs.

While they do want something in exchange for their loyalty in the form of reward points, gift cards or discounts, they also want a personalized experience, with targeted promotions through e-mail, text or social media that relate to products they buy.

Watch this video to see how Accenture busts the myth about millennial shoppers and their loyalty toward retailers.

Millenial Myth #3-Video

Being "liked" on Facebook means Millennials "actually like you"
Millennials use social media to connect with their friends and family. They are continuously on-the-go, on their smartphones and sharing tips with friends on cool stuff they’ve found and deals they’ve received. For them, the relationship with retailers on social networks is purely transactional.

Merely having a presence on social media sites is not enough. So what must retailers do to win over millennial customers? To use social media in retail successfully, retailers need to embed themselves in conversations carefully and offer relevant deals and discounts that influence customers’ buying behavior

Watch this video to see how Accenture busts the myth about millennial shoppers and how they view retailers as their “friends” on social media."

Analysis

If retailers are going to give millennial shoppers the seamless experience they demand, retailers must keep pace—and not just in IT.

Retailers need to continue to work towards providing a consistent experience for each customer—at every touch point, anytime, anywhere.

Delivering a truly seamless experience requires a presence at every stage of the customer journey, from discovery through research, purchase, fulfilment and beyond, to product maintenance or returns. To achieve this, retailers must also integrate their operations.

Learn more about Seamless Retailing