OpinionLab research finds that Millennials are the only generation that prefer the mall to shopping online (37% to 27%) – and more than half (59%) plan to go to the mall at least once a month this summer
Chicago, Illinois – May 30, 2014 – OpinionLab, the pioneer and global leader in Omnichannel Voice of Customer (VoC) feedback solutions, today released a new study that provides a first-ever snapshot of Millennials as they shop in malls and stores across the country. The study analyzes Millennials alongside other generations to find that the mall is far from dead for this generation. Unlike any other age group, Millennials choose the mall over online as their favorite place to shop, and plan to spend significant time there this summer.
The study also finds that, whether in the mall or downtown, Millennials stand out as highly social shoppers who value good deals and special experiences. OpinionLab research also shows that shoppers prefer omnichannel retailers (who operate both stores and sites) to online-only retailers when it comes to customer experience (average score of 463 vs 361) – and that this positive sentiment has increased 12% since the holiday season.
The full study, as well as customer experience benchmarks for retail, financial services, travel and other industries, are included in the brand-new Customer Opinion Index report (immediately available for download here).
Key findings include:
Millennials are the only generation to prefer the mall to online: Over one-third of Millennials (37%) picked the mall as their favorite place to shop, followed by online (27%). Older generations much preferred online to the mall (32% vs. 23%), with local boutiques coming in last for all generations.
Millennials plan to spend significant time in the mall this summer: 85% of Millennials plan to head to the mall at least once this summer – and 60% say they will go at least once a month. The main draw? Nearly half (48%) of Millennials rank browsing different stores as their #1 reason to go to the mall, followed by getting what they need (35%), hanging out with friends (9%) and seeing a movie (7%). In contrast, older generations are more likely to avoid the mall and prefer to get what they need and go.
Millennials are optimistic about the future of the mall: Only 1 in 10 Millennials states that nothing would motivate them to spend more time in the mall – versus 1 out of 4 older shoppers. The top three advances that would keep Millennials at the mall: adding unique shops and items (65%), more stores (52%) and better quality / specialty food (49%).
Millennials are social shoppers – with digital connections at hand: Once inside a store, Millennials are far more likely than other generations to turn to friends for product advice. This includes asking a friend in the store (53% vs 25% for non-Millennials), calling or texting (28% vs 11%), using a mobile chat app like SnapChat or Whats app (9% vs 2%) or consulting Facebook or Twitter (5% vs 2%).
Millennials desire both the unique and the practical: Only 10% of Millennials think that today’s store is the store of the future, and they’re much more likely to pick out Etsy (35%) or a café (16%) as an ideal than other generations. But they also prioritize value and function. The generation’s most desired store innovations include personalized deals and promotions (63%), free wi-fi (48%) and in-store pick up / self check out (40%) – not Instagram photobooths (24%) and social media lounges (13%).
“The mall isn’t dead for Millennials,” said Mark Treschl, president and Chief Technology Officer at OpinionLab. “Instead, our research shows that the physical store remains a strong positive for retailers and that there are real advantages for omnichannel brands who can evolve the shopping experience around value, connection and meaningful tech features.”
OpinionLab is the pioneer and global leader in omnichannel Voice of Customer (VoC) feedback innovation with over a decade of success and a dozen patents on major VoC advancements. Starting with the familiar [+] feedback symbol, the company¹s end-to-end solution suite allows clients to improve the omnichannel experience with precise, real-time intelligence into what customers want and need. Global leaders choose OpinionLab for actionable VoC insight across web, mobile, store and product touchpoints. Recently recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in America, OpinionLab is proud to service over half of the Fortune 50, including Walmart, Bank of America, and Ford Motor Company. For more information, visit OpinionLab online, read the blog or follow Voice of Customer on Twitter.
Brady Public Relations