Half of millennials (especially younger ones) prefer shopping in physical stores to shopping online. But a whopping 70% are comfortable with retailers tracking their digital purchasing and browsing behaviors if it means they’ll receive more relevant communications, according to research from multichannel behavioral marketing platform SmarterHQ. The findings track with other research with similar findings.
And they really want more relevant communications: 74% of this age group say they’re frustrated with too many marketing communications, and 70% are frustrated by brands sending irrelevant emails. That group prefers to receive personalized emails offering specific information, like sale notifications for previously carted items, sale notifications for previously browsed items, or categories and recommended products based on their interests, according to the study.
This group is also highly distracted, SmarterHQ found: Nearly all (95%) are doing something else as they shop, such as working, watching television or talking to friends.
Breaking through to distracted millennials requires effective communication — more targeted and personalized, less often. They prefer to receive just one to three emails each month, and they want specific information that reflects the shopping (including browsing and research) that they’ve already done, according to SmarterHQ.
“While we’re seeing much more mobile traffic than we ever have in previous years, especially with the younger buyer, our survey found that brick-and-mortar is alive and well with millennials, and the need for a strong, well-executed and cohesive omnichannel presence beyond online is key when capturing millennial spend,” SmarterHQ CEO Michael Osborne said in a statement.
But breaking through is possible, as long as retailers take millennials up on their willingness to provide them with data. These younger consumers are comfortable being tracked in the service of receiving information and discounts they can actually use on the items they want, according to the study.
That boosts their tenuous loyalty, too. Just 6.5% of millennials participating in the survey say they consider themselves brand loyal, but those who prefer personalized communications have 28% higher brand loyalty than those who don’t.
“[W]hile security may be a concern with older shoppers, 70% of millennials are actually comfortable with retailers tracking their purchasing and browsing behaviors, if it means they’ll receive more relevant communications," Osborne said. "This further emphasizes the need for strategic personalization, in an industry still plagued by mass marketing techniques.”