The Millennial paradox – what Millennials really want from retailers

Dylan Brown
by Dylan Brown

In a hurry AND looking for a place to hang out, convenience obsessed but will go out of their way for the perfect Instagram shot – Millennials have many and varied requirements of retailers. Read on to discover Qudini’s insights on Millennials and Gen Zers to understand what this intelligent, impatient and demanding group wants.

Millennial and Gen Z Needs within Physical Retail

Millennial and Gen Z Needs within Physical Retail

In a recent round table discussion with retail leaders that included TUI, Dixon’s Carphone and Samsung we understood straight from the experts on the front line how younger consumers are demanding ever more from retailers and how retailers are changing their in-store experiences to accommodate them.

They are Intelligent

With mobiles at their fingertips for constant information and price comparisons as they shop, Millennial and Gen Z consumers make it hard for sales colleagues to add value. To help colleagues be their best they need to be armed with tablets and mobile devices themselves to meet consumers’ expectations that the stores where they shop are just as advanced as they are and can provide the information they need in the tap of a finger.

They are impatient

They expect real life to move as fast as things do on line. The speed by which everything is accessible online sets the tone for their expectations of speed within physical retail stores as well.

Photo by Joshua Rawson Harris

Waiting times are the top cause of complaints about retail and the industry has had to adapt. Retailers offering repairs such as Samsung and Dixons Carphone have now had to speed repair times to accommodate the Millennial and Gen Z need for speed.

Pioneering industry leaders have turned a perceived inconvenience into a customer value-add. Samsung, TUI and Dixons Carphone use queue management software to manage wait times and appointment booking software to enable customers to pre-plan their visits, short-cut waiting and turn queuing time into browsing time.

They are obsessed with convenience

With access to everything they need online, consumers expect convenience in every aspect of their retail experience. From seamless and frictionless online-to-offline discovery and purchase to well-located stores so they can easily pop in and get what they need fast.

They want to get knowledgeable and helpful service from a sales colleague when they want it, yet they also want to be left alone to transact as quickly as possible at a self-serve till when it suits.

They are lost if not attended to

Customers can get anything they want online or from a competitor. Millennials and Gen Z notoriously lack loyalty to any particular brand, so they won’t tolerate a poor experience. In fact, 55% of customers have switched to another company after a poor experience according to Qudini research.

If experience is poor, customers are likely to walk right out and get what they want elsewhere. The cost to retailers is huge and they often don’t even know they have a problem.

The same Qudini research also found that poor in-store experience and long wait times lead to 10% of UK customer walking out of stores. That means the average store loses £52,000 every year – a staggering amount.

They want the human touch

Customers come in store to engage with people for advice, experience the brand and get assurance that they are making the right purchase choice for their needs.

Photo by Charles

Even highly tech-enabled digital customers want human interaction and service. Artificial Intelligence call centre systems have their place but oftentimes nothing beats the personal human touch.

Savvy retailers are re-thinking how they service customers in-store so they can keep the opportunities for human interaction open whilst ensuring they are accessible and seamless.

Samsung use Qudini Queue Management System to manage footfall and connect customers with colleagues on the floor. TUI use Qudini Appointment Booking Software to enable their online customers to book in-store appointments to put the finishing touches on their big holiday plans face-to-face.

They want personalisation

Just as online everything is personalised to the customer, so too must it be in-store. Millennials have become accustomed to services that understand their preferences and past purchases, and predict their future needs. They don’t see why they shouldn’t expect the same from their in-store experiences.

Photo by Julian Gentilezza

To meet these expectations, retailers need to find ways to offer personalisation within store and tailor the services they offer and the products they sell to each individual customer.

Samsung and TUI use Qudini to enable customers to improve their experience and received personalised communications in advance.

They want experience

Younger groups like Gen Z and Millennials love having experiences that they can take photos of and share on social media.

Photo by Lechon Kirb

They will make a visit in-store for an experience that they can share online.

Retailers are in a great position to transform the high street by offering unique brand experiences and engagement opportunities that consumers just can’t get online.

Providing customers with the opportunity to take away memorabilia and photos that they can share on social media is highly valued and increases marketing opportunity for brands.

They like places to dwell

Modern customers like to have places to dwell, whether it’s to hang out with friends or to catch-up on emails.

Photo by Helena Lopes

Retailers can accommodate opportunities for customers to sit and work, socialise or just take a little break from their shopping. By offering sofas, entertainment areas, desk space or cafes, retailers can turn their stores into social and experience destinations to attract Millennials and give them great brand experiences.

Some great examples include Dixons Carphone who offer coffee in store. Samsung provide clear, clean desks where customers can work, and Game offer video gaming areas within their stores.

To learn more about how enhanced in-store experiences could open up new possibilities for your business get in touch.




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