It’s safe to assume we can give millennials a lot of the credit for creating – or at least embracing – digital disruptions of the banking, transportation, housing, education, and even goods delivery industries. With the amount of venture capital interest in apps and web portals and cloud data lockers, one might think our economy will thrive on the basis of online touch points alone. But this couldn’t be further from the truth, recent studies have found such as our own Making it Millennial report.
Yes, younger customers typically start their research online with a mobile app, a mobile-optimized website, or more traditional “full size” website. From there, they could transact right away if the price is right and basic requirements are met. Otherwise, they might loiter the digital store shelves, think about other color or style options, seek personalized reviews on social media sites (#needagreatplaidsweater!), or abandon their shopping cart altogether.
But the experience doesn’t stop there – digital doesn’t cut it alone. In shopping centers all over, millennials are also reconnecting with their favorite vendors in an environment that has been curated and optimized after decades (or centuries) of understanding how to treat shoppers with an individualized touch. Clerks make eye contact and begin formulating a set of recommendations upon stepping foot in the store. The space itself is laid out to maximize shopping comfort, entertainment value, and ability to educate on the brand. And sometimes the unthinkable happens: personal gadgets go away and a one-on-one, in-person conversation results.
Whether your market is apparel, fine wine, kitchen appliances, furniture, or even moving supplies, it’s time to reevaluate your storefront. Just because the digital revolution is taking place does not mean you can forget about your physical store – wowing requires more than pixels.
The physical store and digital experiences are all part of your customer journey, so how can you make it more fun? How can you use it to compel customers to come back?
Jared Miniman is a Senior Engagement Manager from Deloitte Digital’s DC Studio. He presents these thoughts and more about how to combine physical and digital shopping experiences at the Post Expo 2014 Innovation Conference, Room A3 10 a.m. to noon CEST in Stockholm, Sweden.