- A new study by predictive analytics firm First Insight finds that a large percentage of consumers shop multiple stores, with many increasingly going online to search for deals, according to The Shelby Report.
- The research found that a higher share of millennials (71%) shop multiple stores seeking deals compared with baby boomers (57%). This goes against conventional wisdom that boomers would be more interested in finding bargains in-store. Regardless of generation, a large percentage of shoppers are bargain-hunting online: 82% of millennials and 65% of boomers.
- First Insight’s survey of 750 U.S. consumers also found nuances by geographic region and demographic segment. The Northeast region, for example, exhibited the greatest gap between millennials and boomers in terms of where they look for deals, with 73% of millennials visiting multiple stores to find deals versus just 48% of boomers, who instead are looking more online. On an income basis, affluent shoppers (those making $100,000 or more), especially affluent boomers, tend to search more online than in-store.
Not all shoppers are alike. Therefore, it stands to reason that not all marketing strategies should be alike either. Retailers and brands that take into consideration key demographic and regional differences in their shopper bases when developing their pricing and promotional tactics will put themselves in a position to succeed.
Today’s consumers have tons of information available at their fingertips to help them find and compare products, prices and identify the best bargains. And searching online for discounts is becoming the dominant shopping behavior across generations. For example, two-thirds (65%) of boomers search online for deals, which is higher than the percentage looking for deals in stores, according to the First Insight study. Thus, retailers relying on big in-store sales to drive traffic to their stores could be deploying an outdated strategy.
“The retail industry has been operating on the outdated assumption that boomers are shopping for deals primarily in-store and millennials are searching for deals mostly online,” First Insight CEO Greg Petro said in a statement. “The behavior between these generations is evolving, and to benefit, retailers must recalibrate their approach to marketing, inventory and pricing to attract deal-seekers who may have been overlooked based on outdated perceptions.”
It's increasingly paramount for retailers and brands to gather shopper data and information that enables them to segment their customers and identify differences in purchase patterns and buying behavior. The tools and technology exist today that enables companies to conduct this kind of analysis down to the individual shopper level.
Understanding consumer preferences and expectations can help retailers and brands create personalized experiences for their customers, a necessity in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace where loyalty is waning and more consumers are shopping around. Reaching shoppers with messages that resonate with them based on their individualized needs and shopping mission could be the difference between retailers that succeed versus those that don't.