Gen Xers Surpass Millennials When It Comes to In-Store Product Research

This article originally appeared on Innovative Retail Technologies. View it here.

Study finds 26 percent of those who visit a brand’s website in-store are between 35 and 44 years old.

While Millennials are known for mobile multitasking, InMoment’s 2016 Retail Industry Report finds this stereotype really applies to Gen X when it comes to product research in the brick-and-mortar store. Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to have done their research ahead of time and look to competitors while on site.

The study found that 26 percent, the largest percentage, of those who visit a brand’s website in-store are 35 to 44-year-olds, or GEN Xers. Meanwhile, 18 to 24-year-old consumers are almost twice as likely to visit the brand’s website before a store visit, and 25-34 year olds visit competitor’s website at the highest rate. Forty-one percent of consumers under age 34 said that research was the primary reason they prefer to shop online.

“Despite fears that brick-and-mortar buying might lose its relevance, in-person shopping has transformed into an omnichannel opportunity to sell more, and deepen customer relationships,” said Dr. Paul Warner, vice president, consumer and employee insights at InMoment. “For brands, it’s not about choosing one channel over the other, but rather leveraging each for their unique strengths. Online storefronts can showcase selection, while your people can provide personalized care. It’s this combination of the human and the digital that increases conversions as well as overall brand loyalty.”

While much attention has been given to attracting and retaining Millennial shoppers, this data reveals that they are not the only game in town when it comes to creating a cross-channel experience. Gen Xers represent a significant segment that should not be overlooked by retailers.

InMoment found that consumers who access retail websites via their smartphones while in-store spend up to 150 percent than those who don’t. And that means that omnichannel retailers need to sync up their online and offline stores. As the InMoment report states, “When preparing sales associates to master their on-floor responsibilities, retailers must ensure that what employees recommend in stores is consistent with what shoppers can find online. Consumers have a need for both in-store and online assistance, but the connection will not be lucrative if there is confusion or inconsistencies with the basic information shared in company training materials.”

And that also means that tailoring services based on the average age of target shoppers can help yield desired results. As an example, the study suggests that a high-end home goods store that caters toward older shoppers who can afford its products should train its retail sales associates on the floor to be well-versed in their brand’s mobile site, while a low-end apparel retailers catering to a younger crowd would be best suited to engineering a mobile website to facilitate early research with ease of use and searchability features that younger shoppers prefer.

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