Technology continues to shape the fast-changing retail environment, with Millennials leading the online shopping movement. Or are they? A new global survey by CBRE Group Inc., Millennials: Myths and Realities: How Millennials Live, Work and Play shows they are more inclined to shop in-store than online.
The findings report an astronomical 70% prefer brick-and-mortar retail. What’s more, the study states responses from 13,000 participants between 22 and 29 years old in 12 countries suggest that this preference is unlikely to dramatically change in the future.
CBRE’s research project seeks to better understand how this generation approaches lifestyle choices through live, work and play, and what this means for future trends in real estate. Of the respondents, roughly 2,000 were in the U.S., half on the East Coast and half on the West Coast.
“The findings of our global research have dispelled some assumptions and reinforced others,” says Anthony Buono, chairman of CBRE’s global retail executive committee. “The fact that Millennials have joined the workforce during a time of global economic change has had a profound impact on places they work, live, and play.”
From a retail perspective, it is a certainty that the physical store retains its position of importance in the shopper’s journey. Online is seen to complement in-store shopping rather than conflict with it. This means that the need for retailers to create compelling experiences to ensure shoppers have a reason to visit again and again has never been greater, Buono says.
A strong desire for immediate gratification propels the in-store experience. More than half — 59% — like to see the products and 49% state wanting the items “then and there.” Another 43% want to try on items in the store and 29% say they enjoy shopping as a leisure activity.
Other findings from the survey regarding how Millennials shop today include:
- In countries with an established international network of retailers, it is likely that online penetration will be higher than those where retailers are more focused on local markets. For example, Millennials in the U.K. and U.S. reported a higher percentage of their non-food shopping done online — roughly 39% and 36%, respectively — than the global average of 35%. Meanwhile, Mexico and Spain produced the lowest percentage of participating countries at roughly 15% and 20%, respectively.
- When the millennial shopper does buy online, they want the items delivered to their own home. Two-thirds say they prefer home delivery, followed by delivery to place of work, while click and collect lingered as a third option.
- Leisure is also an increasingly important part of a Millennial’s life, with 50% of their income going towards dining out, shopping, movies, and live events.