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Are Fickle Millennials the Best Omnichannel Shoppers?

This is an archived post from OrderDynamics, now Tecsys retail division.
Are Fickle Millennials the Best Omnichannel Shoppers? We are often asked by retailers about the why’s of omnichannel. Why take on such a big effort? Why do this now, instead of some day in the future? Why will this help with increasing sales? The answers to these questions come right back to learning about your best shopper. In that regard, the best omnichannel shoppers point to your answers. And, to boost sales, elder millennials are your top choice. But, to maximize your gains, you need to cater to all your millennials and GenX parent shoppers.

Best Omnichannel Shoppers = High Value

First of all, why look for the best omnichannel shoppers? As the subheading points out, they are your high-value customers. And, there are many examples of this. Harvard Business Review’s 46,000 participant study called an omnichannel strategy a “panacea for a difficult environment.” This research looked at the 73% of participants that use multiple channels to buy goods. This is not a strict definition of ‘best omnichannel shoppers’. But, the multi-channel shopper details help point us in the right direction. The research shows “they spent an average of 4% more on every shopping occasion in the store.” What’s more, they also found they spent “10% more online than single-channel customers.” In the same way, EnsembleIQ and RIS suggest a telling stat about omnichannel consumers. “Shoppers who buy on multiple channels have 30% higher lifetime value than single-channel shoppers.” Additionally, Think With Google's article highlighted another point. “Macy's learned that its omnichannel customers are 8X more valuable.” This from an interview with R.B. Harrison, Chief Omnichannel Officer for Macy's. Long story short, your best omnichannel shoppers are truly your best customers.

High Value Customer = Parents

The National Retail Federation (NRF) published “#Parenting” in Stores Magazine (September 2018). The article highlights that there are 17 million moms among the millennial generation. More importantly, it points out that “juggling jobs and kids, millennial parents’ mobile connection represents convenience through virtually every aspect of the shopping journey.” Mobile apps, social media, and online channels are the go-to research choices. These are the new shopping channels for millennial parents. Another interesting highlight comes from their survey. It “showed that 50% of millennial parents always research a brand or retailer’s views on topics that matter to them personally. Only 19% of millennial non-parents and 27% of other parents say the same.” Essentially, the NRF’s article points to parents being time constrained. This time constraint puts the onus on the retailer to cater to their needs. The need being to have ready merchandise information available when shopping online. But it goes beyond that. It is about a good shopping experience both online and offline. With time-constrained parents, it is all about convenience, ease of selection, options and speed. Fiona Soltes (NRF author) highlights several factors. For this group, convenience comes down to an easy checkout when they shop in-store. Also, they want the ability to use their mobile device. Moreover, it has to have an easy online navigation. Online and offline experiences must be positive. And, finally, they look for free shipping and fulfillment. Ultimately, the onus is on retailers to meet the millennial parent’s expectations. User experiences count. And the modern consumer expects that omnichannel retailers will help them with the time pressure. They expect convenience and need immediacy. Clearly, the high-value shopper is the one with many shopping needs. Parents of growing families meet that criteria perfectly. So, the high-value customer truly is the parent.

Finding the Best Omnichannel Shoppers

Ok, we determined that parents are an important part of the omnichannel equation. But, are they the ideal shopper? Are millennial parents the best omnichannel shoppers? To answer this, we look to the Click & Collect Superconsumer research, recently published by OrderDynamics. The research of over 1,600 participants identified four customer categories: Non Click and Collect User – the single channel shopper. They purchase online, with a focus on digital channels like mobile, or use physical stores. But they have not tried, nor use omnichannel retail. Lapsed Consumer – the shopper who tried omnichannel retail but has not used it in over 12 months. Occasional User – the shopper who has used omnichannel retailing at least once in the past 12 months. They have used click and collect shopping for less than one year. Superconsumer – the avid click and collect shopper. She skews toward females. She has used omnichannel shopping 2-8+ times in the past 12 months. 41% of the time, they make an additional store purchase during an in-store pickup. These extra buys average out to over $40 per purchase. More importantly, those who belong to this category are often loyal customers.  

See also: Store Managers: Focus on the Omni-Channel Upsell


Parents = Click & Collect Superconsumers

One interesting finding of the Superconsumer research is the groupings by age.

This research did not expressly seek to understand the parental shopper. Yet it did uncover some important insights. Both the elder millennial (24-34) and GenX (35-49) skewed to omnichannel Superconsumers. An interesting comparison between these two is that they both have growing families. In other words, elder millennials and GenXers are parents caring for a ‘full-nest’. Elder millennials are in the early family growth stages. They are having children and raising a family. Many are taking care of babies or young children. No doubt, this is a very busy phase of life for them. As such, they want a blend of online convenience with quick fulfillment through in-store pickups. Here is the ideal blend of online and in-store purchasing. This truly describes the best omnichannel shoppers. GenX is the other family-oriented grouping. This generation also skews toward Superconsumers. GenX-led families tend to be more mature than the Elder millennial families. GenX children are more likely to be school aged, and high-schoolers. Some of the children are even in the transition from high school to university or college. Like Elder millennials, the GenX family is busy. GenX parents are also heavy technology users. They are very time constrained both managing their family and professional life. Hence, convenience and speed also rank high on their list when shopping. Therefore, both online and in-store shopping are important to the busy GenX parent.  

Related: Click and Collect Exceptional Experiences with Order Fulfillment Solutions


Superconsumers = Best Omnichannel Shoppers

Recent research shows us that the busy parent is an important shopper. It is interesting to see then that those parenting age groups are leaning toward omnichannel retailing. These are the groups most apt to be the ideal click and collect user. They shop frequently. And, when they do, they like to use multiple retail channels, digital and physical. Plus, we know that over their lifetime, and on each pickup journey, they surely buy more goods. All told, it points to the conclusion that parents are the Superconsumer. In effect, Elder millennials and GenX parents are retail’s best omnichannel shoppers. As a retailer, you now know the omnichannel customer is your ideal shopper. Now, what is your next move? How will you make omnichannel retail your reality?   Author:   Charles Dimov is VP of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 23 years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.    
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