Retailers must understand how the buyer journey is being re-routed if they want to build long-term relationships with their most connected shoppers. A new survey indicates that Millennials are much more likely than baby boomers to use the following channels to buy products online:
Video chat (3.1X more than boomers);
Messaging apps (2.7X); and
Social media (2.4X).
This shift in consumer technology preferences isn’t limited to actual purchases, according to the 2017 Salesforce Connected Shoppers Report. In fact, 79% of consumers research products prior to purchasing in-store, and 85% research products prior to purchasing online. Millennials are more likely than baby boomers to research products using the following channels:
Video chat (2.6X);
Voice-enabled digital assistants (2.2X); and
Messaging apps (2X).
When shoppers request customer service help, Millennials are 2.8X more likely than boomers to use video chat, messaging apps (2.9X) and social media (2.6X). But these channels still have not broken into the top five choices among shoppers: web site, email, phone, chat and the retailer’s mobile app.
Digital Reputation Doesn’t Stop Millennials From Visiting Brick-And-Mortar Stores
Despite being labeled as a digitally savvy generation, Millennials are more likely than baby boomers to have visited a physical store within the last seven days (78% vs. 70%). Accounting for Millennials, Baby Boomers and Generation X, 87% of shoppers say they’ve visited a retail store within the past month.
Although shoppers are experimenting with new digital channels across their purchase paths, the primary reasons for in-store shopping are straightforward. The need for instant gratification (66%) and touch and feel of the merchandise (65%) are the leading factors that drive shoppers into a physical store. The pursuit of cost savings also plays a role, as 52% want to avoid shipping fees while 49% want to take advantage of in-store discounts.
Yet despite their willingness to go from one channel to another, 55% of all shoppers say retail experiences are generally disconnected from channel to channel. This number increases to 61% for Millennials, showing that these consumers still have high expectations of what they want their retail experience to be.