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Young shoppers challenge retailers to create a more engaging in-store experience

Thursday October 23rd 2014

A new retail report by Samsung has identified a need for retailers to do more to connect young consumers' online and offline experiences.

Samsung commissioned the Future Shoppers Report on the retail experiences of 16-24 year olds in a bid to understand the purchasing decisions of the nation’s next generation of shoppers.

The study shows that British high street and shopping centre environments are very popular for these young consumers looking to socialise with friends or browse products. However, when it comes to making a purchase, it found that retailers are missing out the immediate in-store opportunities to make sales.

The findings reveal that 71% of the 16-24 year olds surveyed said they visit large retail environments at least once a fortnight with two-thirds visiting to look for a specific item.  However, they were found to frequently make their final purchase online, and increasingly through their mobile phones.

The research found that shopping with a purchase in mind is largely a solitary activity for these young consumers, and they are often armed with a clear idea of what they want to buy. This comes as a result of extensive research before and during the shopping trip to ensure they are getting the best deal.  Furthermore, 44% will be searching for a better price online through their mobile device while they are in-store.

“Young adults may be socialising in retail environments, but, by and large, when it comes to spending on products they are shopping alone and seeking the most convenient way to complete their purchase,” said Graham Long, vice president of Samsung’s Enterprise Business.

He added: “We’re seeing the emergence of a generation of sophisticated shoppers, with considerable disposable income, who have high expectations of what they expect from the high-street and other retail environments.”

Samsung said the research demonstrates that retailers need to ensure that they are communicating the benefits of existing in-store technology to fully capture the attention of young shoppers. While 16-24 year olds see the value of using tablets and in-store technology to check stock or browse catalogues, few use technology designed to enhance their experience. The study found that less than 20% of young shoppers scan QR codes, while more than 90% ignore Augmented Reality apps.  

The report reveals that there are opportunities for retailers to improve young shoppers’ perception of in-store. Nearly half of those questioned said that they would actively choose to visit retailers who use technology to enhance the experience, citing both receiving discounts to their devices as they pass, and the opportunity to customise products they like while in-store as exciting new developments. The research shows that combining a more compelling in-store experience with discounts, offers and convenience will make real world shopping stand-out for this age group.

Long continued: “While we know that the high street has been losing ground to online shopping, young adults demonstrably enjoy shopping in the real world and are eager to engage with retailers that cater to their needs. Vendors who create exciting in-store environments, where shoppers can experience and interact with their products, could protect themselves from losing a customer to an online seller offering something as simple as a slight price discount. 

“Young consumers embrace technology that delivers value when they’re shopping. Retailers need to be using technology to create a sense of retail theatre and bring their physical environment to life; they need to enhance the shopping experience. It’s not just a case of replicating online in-store; they need to be better at bridging the gap between the two and creating a sense of retail theatre. A seamless experience will gain the loyalty of young consumers, helping create engaged, connected and happy customers.”

 


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