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Millennials and the Retail Revolution | @ThingsExpo #IoT

Millennial's shopping habits are reshaping retail marketing styles

Millennials. The Millennial Generation. Generation Y. Whatever you want to call them, this progressive group has forced retailers to transform their view and strategy on in-store experiences. In other words, Millennials have arrived on the scene expecting a whole new style of shopping, challenging the retail industry to launch interactive techniques to capture and retain members of the younger generation.

A major impact the Millennial generation has brought into retail is the use of smartphone technologies. The rise of iPhone and Android, among other mobile technologies, have given customers the ability to reach desired products and competitors from any location, even if one is already in a store. This means that retailers haven't won the battle over the customer even if the shopper has already made it through the door. Retailers are literally in constant competition mode, grappling with other brands for attention and conversion.

As Millennials shift toward online research and purchasing, the physical presence of their preferred brands under immense pressure to keep people coming to their store. The movement towards online retail has created a disparity in physical retail, causing many brands to shut down low-performing stores and rally their efforts to maintain consistent traffic in other stores. Retailers like Walmart and Target are getting ahead of this trend by launching smaller urban stores that target high-demand needs of their customers. Similarly, brands are adopting more pop-up retail strategies, where they set up shop for short periods of time and offer exciting limited time deals, enticing shoppers to take advantage of the temporary offerings. These trends are catching fire as more retailers make these strategic changes to adopt the "Millennial style".

Technology isn't just impacting shoppers, however. Retailers are quickly adopting in-store technologies to enhance customer experiences with kiosks, digital displays, and interactive mini-exhibits to keep consumers engaged within their physical stores. For example, Selfridge's introduced an in-store fragrance lab where customers can build their very own fragrance based on their personality. Further, other technologies such asfloor sensors are equipped to trigger digital screens when stepped on which deliver more product information to passing traffic. Millennials desire much more than a simple "come and go" format to shopping; they want to be wowed and delivered something much more than what they came to purchase.

These demands from Millennials have morphed the customer experience dramatically in recent years, where it is not so simply a "enter-buy-exit" decision. This generation has practically unlimited access to multiple channelresearch, making it hard to maintain a loyal customer base. They crave simplicity and instant gratification in a personalized shopping experience, and while their research is conducted online, in-store traffic is still dramatically beating ecommerce sales in consumer goods. Brands can take advantage of this trend by upping their in-store experiences with interactive displays and activities, creating influential "shoppertainment". Millennial behavior has ruffled retailers' feathers, but has not even come close to plucking them. Never has it been more crucial for retailers to understand their audience and what they enjoy, because these tidbits of information prove invaluable for reaching and maintaining the younger generation's attention and business.

About Scanalytics

Scanalytics is among the top 10 fastest growing "Internet of Things" companies, measuring human behavior insights through intelligent floor sensors. The SoleSensor platform translates consumer foot traffic into actionable data through a dashboard interface for real-time and historical viewing of trends in physical spaces. Using the floor sensor technology, brands capture and analyze occupancy, traffic patterns and engagement times to increase conversions and improve ROI.

With over 10 million impressions to date, Scanalytics has deployed SoleSensors across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Southeast Asia. Learn more at: www.scanalyticsinc.com.

More Stories By Rolando Kahn

Rolando Kahn is a writer at Scanalytics Inc. with a passion for technology and all things marketing. Blogging, social media, and technical writing are all components of the bigger puzzle he's spearheading at a leading "Internet of Things" business. He is a graduate of UW-Milwaukee with a degree in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies.

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