Millennials still prefer physical stores to online shopping says report


Almost three quarters of millennials still prefer physical stores to shopping online, according to a new study by brand experience consultancy I-AM.

I-AM surveyed 2,000 people across the UK – all in urban areas and aged from 18-35 – for its latest report, The Convergence Continuum.

The survey found that 74 per cent of the respondents prefer physical stores to online, while 80 per cent had been shopping as a day trip within the last month. Touching and trying products was the most appealing element of the in-store experience for 49 per cent of the consumers.

Attitudes to retail staff are less clear cut: 46 per cent think staff hinder the shopping experience while 48 per cent value the help they offer. More than a quarter (28 per cent) say they would happily shop without staff being present, while 70 per cent prefer staff but think they should stay at pay points. A similar proportion (71 per cent) wants staff to be more knowledgeable.

Just over half of customers (51 per cent) would like to navigate, get information, and pay in-store using their phones – with half admitting they browse on their smartphones before going to sleep – and 77 per cent are open to handing over data in exchange for discounts.

More than half (56 per cent) would like click & collect points to offer changing rooms so they can try on and return items, though 73 per cent prefer home delivery over click & collect.

I-AM Group partner Pete Champion says: “Both online and offline, people prefer multi-brand stores over mono-brand ones. Retail has undergone a seismic change in the last decade. Though this has been largely driven by technology, our consumer attitudes to what shopping is and does has shifted dramatically and our needs, platforms and spaces have converged. We no longer shop in specific bursts, rather shopping hums along at our pace of life.

“Retail has become a continuous chain-reaction of movements, events, experiences and motives. Shopping has become relative – relative to context, person and place and has moulded into four dimensions of space and time. Shopping is no longer about the what and where, but [also] how and when.”

Published: 14 June 2018 on Retail Design World