Survey: Older, younger consumers shop brick-and-mortar differently

Chain Store Age – Customer expectations of the in-store experience depend on whether they are older or younger than 38. According to a new survey of 1,298 consumers from BRP, retail consulting firm, “Consumer Shopping Habits – The Generation Gap,” digital consumers age 18-37 approach brick-and-mortar stores very differently than traditional consumers age 38 and up.

For example, digital consumers tend to want in-store technology that enables personalized shopping. Sixty-five percent want personalized recommendations, while 61% want a curated selection of products from stylists and 60% want recommendations based on what is in their closet.

Meanwhile, traditional consumers are more interested in technology that helps ensure product availability – 63% want associates to have the ability to order out-of-stock products and 60% want the ability to search in-store inventory availability.

Digital consumers are also more interested in having technology-enabled control of their in-store shopping experience – 87% say self-service options allow them to control their own experience and 71% like automated pickup and returns processes. In contrast, 60% of traditional consumers say self-service options allow them to control their own experience, while 49% say automated returns are nice but not necessary, and 41% say automated pickups are nice but not necessary.

Before entering a store, both digital and traditional consumers will use technology to research and prepare for the trip. However, digital consumers are more focused on prioritizing their purchases, while traditional consumers zero in on discounts, as demonstrated by differences in likelihood to perform the following activities:

• Compare prices (59% digital vs. 64% traditional).
• Look for offers/coupons (44% vs. 57%).
• Build a shopping list (62% vs. 49%).

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