Every new generation of shoppers forces successful retailers to rethink their marketing and selling strategies. As millennials come into their own and increase their spending power, businesses have to adjust.
Within the next decade, this shift in customer demographics will force stores to think more deeply about how they use technology to collect data, spread advertisements and drive more engagement and purchasing.
"Millennials play a large role in the in-store shopping revolution, as their smartphones are basically an evolutionary extension that the retail industry has yet to catch up with," said Patrick Connolly, principal analyst at ABI Research, told Retailing Today. "The conceptual battle between brick-and-mortar versus online is dead. All retailers must become omnichannel and harness the power of the smartphone by developing next-generation, personalized experiences."
One might say that the battle between brick-and-mortar stores and online ended with a truce. The future of retail will be dominated by businesses that can combine the two in unique, engaging ways.
What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
Can your business offer a seamless customer experience over a variety of devices and channels? That's omnichannel marketing.
"One might say that the battle between brick–and–mortar stores and online ended with a truce."
Currently, there is a divide between digital and physical shopping. Consumers may see an advertisement online, make a mental note of it, and search for that product in stores. More likely, they may respond to the ad by searching for the product on the web and attempting to purchase it right there, or by using a specific mobile app. They certainly have many options, but these all lack connectivity. For instance, what if a potential customer finds a great product online, but wants to see it in person before deciding to buy it? What if he or she wants to price-match products seen in stores with competing items online?
Though a multichannel marketing setup allows for shoppers to use all of these channels to make their purchases, it lacks cohesiveness and seamlessness. Omnichannel marketing relies on data about shopper behavior to deliver prompts and avenues toward the best channel for them at the time.
Building Omnichannel Marketing For Millennials
Marketing to millennials and the shoppers of the future, Connolly adds, will require many retailers to accept a very different state of affairs.
"By 2025, we will be exposed to a new shopping world in which the value of a physical store will no longer be measured in sales, queuing will not exist, any surface will be a storefront, customers will be able to find and buy any item at any time, and clothing will be shared, tried on virtually, and printed at home," he told the news source.
To do this, retailers will have to understand their audience at a deeper level that is rarely achieved today. They can do this by encouraging shoppers to use their smartphones while in stores and interact with beacons and Wi-Fi, which will track shopper activity and make it easier to conduct targeted marketing with notifications and other advertisements.
Collecting all of this data can be a complicated undertaking, as can analyzing it to develop actionable solutions. Though many in the industry may be slow to adjust to new realities, there's no reason for you to be. Interactive Edge offers a number of creative ways to get the most out of your data and meet the many challenges that your business will face as it grows. Check out the rest of our website to learn more about the services we offer to our clients.