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If someone tells you that brick-and-mortar shops are losing their value in the eyes of millennials, they are not up to date with the real millennial behaviour. Based on a few recent studies even up to half of millennials actually prefer doing their shopping in physical shops.
According to a study, half of all millennials do their shopping in brick-and-mortar shops. This generation of digital natives doesn’t differ that much from other age groups when it comes to the reasons for preferring brick-and-mortar shops. Like any other generation before them, the millennials visit shops to make discoveries, either with the intention of buying or just browsing.
Even though people in their 20s and 30s like to visit brick-and-mortar shops, they often also shop online and through different applications. Millennials pop in a shop to try on and see the products, but they might actually buy them later from the comfort of their own sofa, from an online store, of course. In addition, approximately a third of all consumers uses their smart phone while still in the shop, looking for competitive prices. It can be said that millennials use brick-and-mortar shops like showrooms: they go in to browse the selection and try on products that they are interested in.
Many companies have avoided the showroom concept as they have to pay the costs for the shop premises but they won’t necessarily get any profit from the product if the consumer can also buy the product from a competitor’s online store. However, many brands see the showroom as a potential opportunity to increase interest in their products.
Despite all this, brick-and-mortar shops don’t have to worry, as according to another study, consumers also browse the web for information about the products – and then go to a brick-and-mortar shop to actually purchase it. In addition, a total of 43 per cent of consumers who especially value the shopping experience prefer brick-and-mortar shops, and of them, 10% do impulse purchases when shopping. Consumer behaviour is in a state of flux but brick-and-mortar shops are still dear to consumers’ hearts. The continuously evolving circumstances mean that retailers must take the change into account by offering hybrid solutions for consumers’ changing minds.
The development of technology impacts consumer behaviour, and shopping centres must adapt to this change. When shopping will in part take place online, offering consumers infinite freedom of choice on the products, shopping centres must be able to offer services that suit the consumers’ taste. This means that shopping centres should move on from only creating shopping experiences towards a wider value proposition for consumers.
Innovative shopping centres include elements that create additional value for consumers, with a role and essence that resembles a city centre. In future, they will offer even more concerts, art hubs, spas, market places, gyms and other places for encounters. The significance of shopping centres as providers of restaurants and events will be highlighted, as these are all services that consumers cannot experience online.
Agile shopping centres invest in retail spaces that consumers react to on one level or another. In future, large flagship shops will still have their place but the focus will be more on small premises that add a sense of novelty in the shopping centre. In addition, shopping centres could also create temporary, flexible spaces suitable for establishing a pop-up shop or a showroom that offer new kinds of experiences for the customers. Also we must not underestimate using new technologies in new retail spaces.
These kinds of new operating methods help shopping centres respond to consumers’ changing needs in the future. When new shopping centres are built, the focus will be on personalisation and creating experiences.