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Millennials Still Want to Shop In-Store – Brick and Mortar, Take Notice

Has the in-store experience given way to the online shopping craze? Not quite yet, according to the experts at Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates. The Omnichannel Retail and Commercial Real Estate Survey of November 2016 finds that brick and mortar have yet to roll over and play dead – and, in fact, Millennials actively want to shop in-person.

The online survey, which was conducted by Harris Poll among more than 2,000 U.S. adults, was an exploration of consumer expectations of retailers in terms of working with e-commerce as well as creating memorable in-store experiences.

Here’s a look at some of those particular findings:

  • Nearly half (43 percent) of U.S. adults preferred in-store shopping to its online counterpart
  • 39 percent of younger Millennials also preferred shopping in-store
  • 28 percent of older Millennials were more likely to shop in-store
  • 36 percent of Gen Xers would shop in-store before shopping online
  • 49 percent of Baby Boomers were likely to shop in-store before going online.

In-store return options also made a huge difference when it came to the decision as to whether to shop online. To wit:

  • 35 percent of U.S. adults are more likely to make a purchase online if they have the option to return the item in-store
  • 40 percent of younger Millennials agreed with the above
  • 31 percent of older Millennials agreed with the above
  • 38 percent of Gen Xers agreed with the above
  • 36 percent of Baby Boomers agreed with the above.

Inversely, the option to pick up items from a physical store was also an enticement to shop online. The findings included:

  • A quarter of older Millennials would be more likely to shop online if they could pick up the items from a physical store
  • 21 percent of U.S. adults would be more likely to shop online if they had this option
  • 22 percent of younger Millennials agreed with the above
  • 25 percent of older Millennials agreed with the above
  • 24 percent of Gen Xers were more likely to buy online if they could pick up in-store
  • 20 percent of Boomers were also more likely to do so given this option.

Retail experiences in-store were a strong draw when it came to bringing customers in the doors. The survey found that a strong percentage of total respondents, from younger Millennials to Baby Boomers, would come in-store for any retail experience.

Other draws in this category included:

  • Free samples
  • Product demonstrations
  • Holiday-themed events
  • In-store classes
  • In-show artistic shows and displays
  • Celebrity appearances
  • Book signings
  • A host of other miscellaneous draws.

A few notes on the definitions of the different generations. For the purposes of the survey, they are as follows:

  • Younger Millennials: age 18-29
  • Older Millennials: age 30-34
  • Gen Xers: age 35-49
  • Baby Boomers: age 50-69

Of course, everyone’s mileage may vary as to whether in-store shopping is convenient for them. That said, however, there’s no discounting the fact that this option is here – and it looks as for now, it’s here to stay.

 

-Nicole Epps Brzyski