As the fastest growing segment of shoppers, Millennial expectations about omnichannel shopping are a force to be reckoned with. In Part I of this special Millennial blog report, our secret omnichannel shoppers recorded their firsthand buy online/pick up in store experiences with several large U.S. retailers.
Their candid documentation indicated that retailers have significant gaps to fill in creating a consistent, continuous unified commerce experience.
So we asked our Millennial shoppers to suggest how retailers can close these gaps. Here are their answers in brief:
- Buying online and picking up in store should be a smooth experience, with clear, accurate instructions about where pickup is located in the store. Pickup should be quick and easy, but not isolated from the other benefits and interactions in store.
- Customers should have the option of setting up a specific timeframe in which they can pick up the item to help expedite the process. This is especially important if the items are large and require associate assistance to the car.
- The associate who presents the item at pickup should inquire about the quality of the online purchase experience. They should use this face-to-face opportunity to engage the customer, possibly suggesting related new items (new styles, colors, etc.) for purchase.
- Email confirmations should become “smart” upon entering the store to expedite pickup and allow customers to self-identify. This could reduce the need for additional identification and also helps create a relationship instead of just a transaction.
- An easy-to-use website with clear information and a simple, pleasant in-store experience are the most important elements of an effective cross-channel experience.
- In cases where items are not available for pickup in store due to lack of inventory, retailers should offer the option of buying online with free shipping to the store.
- Mobile checkout would be useful for an associate to extend the engagement by browsing the store to suggest other items you might be interested in or are looking for based on your interactions in the retailer's other sales channels (voice or online).
- Cross-channel experiences should always be as easy as buying something in the store.
- Instead of a list of items that aren’t available for store pick-up, the list should be items that can be picked up in store.
- Retailers should consider providing a transportation option for customers who want to pick up in the store and include a link to make a reservation for the option. This could be a partnership with Uber, Lyft or a taxi service.
- Make sure cross channel supports integration to the store app to make the cross-channel experience easier and to promote customer loyalty.
There you have it retailers—suggestions to meet Millennial expectations right from the source. For help finding the right technology to meet those expectations, click here.
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