The Millennial Takeover

By 2018 the spending power of millennials will be greater than any previous generation.

Known as generation Y, the portion of the population born between 1980 and 2000 are becoming more and more dominant in the shopping centre and retail industry. To engage with this demographic, retailers and schemes need to focus on customer experience.

The millennial shoppers are extremely tech savvy, they are a real digital generation and expect technology to be worked into their experiences, for it to work fast and effectively and to be personal to them.

The developments in data capture have given retailers amazing opportunities to track and monitor shopper behaviour and create targeted experiences. As consumers become more demanding, technology is delivering a platform for retailers to respond successfully. It is important retailers act quick and for shopping centres to constantly address their strategy in order to stay ahead and to stay relevant.

With consumers now demanding interactive and innovative experiences, it presents a constant challenge for centres and retailers but it also offers the opportunity to encourage visitors to share and promote your scheme online. If a centre successfully influences consumers to engage and post online it can be extremely beneficial – ‘word of mouth’ or recommendations from friends and family are often much more effective than classic marketing platforms. This comes down to the trust the audience has with the sender and also because the shopper will target their recommendation specifically to the family and friends that they believe will be interested.

Millennials expect their shopping experience to be seamless, they expect the same message and service across all channels of communication. They anticipate constant new experiences and a variety of events to be taking place to keep the centre visit exciting and they also want their experience to be personal and exclusive – not asking for much, right?

The millennial attitude is quickly spreading through to their parents and older generations. The ‘baby boomers’ and ‘generation X’ are watching the millennials and quickly adopting their shopping methods and expectations. With this new demand and anticipations spreading through to much wider demographic, retailers need to be prepared to act fast.

The spread of expectations sets a real challenge but also a great opportunity for retail professionals. Engaging with the millennial shopper is critical due to their spending power; however other generations cannot be ignored. If the millennial attitude is spreading, then the other age groups will be expecting the same targeted and personal experiences!  This challenge is demanding more and more strategies to be implemented, but, if done successfully it could increase footfall and sales dramatically!

Kat Whitehead, Marketing & Operations, Foundation Recruitment

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