Millennials believe in brick and mortar

Shoppers, particularly younger ones, believe it's important for retailers to have a physical store, and they expect that store to make a good first impression.

Close to 74 percent of Generation Z and Millennials think brands should have a physical location instead of only selling online, according to a new study by iModerate.

And the younger the shopper, the more this matters: 80 percent of Gen Z respondents and 82 percent of millennials want brick and mortar, compared to 69 percent of Gen X and 65 percent of baby boomers.

These shoppers consider product interaction to be critical to making a purchase, particularly for apparel, shoes and cosmetics, according to the report.

"One of brick-and-mortar's greatest advantages over other channels is that there's an opportunity for shoppers to interact with products, and that gives them the confidence they need to make a purchase," said Adam Rossow, iModerate chief marketing officer. "Retailers can take even small steps to capitalize on these exploratory shopping habits, such as creating close-up experiences with new styles, providing samples and demos, and ensuring there are ample mirrors and fitting rooms."

But the optimal in-store experience varies by generation. Gen X is looking for an escape from their busy lives and they appreciate a calm environment. Gen Z respondents want a sensorial experience and to try products in stores. Millennials want quality and efficiency and are likely to favor big-box stores, while Boomers are increasingly on fixed or limited incomes and pay attention to prices. These shoppers are likely to avoid online orders with shipping costs.

Big-box stores are among the most impacted by the shift to online sales, but shoppers are consistently saying in this and other surveys that they still value the in-store experience.

"When it comes to big-box stores, providing a consistent brand experience across every store is essential," said Rossow. "Retailers should identify the locations that best uphold their brand promise, figure out what consumers love about them and implement those best practices across all of their locations to the best of their ability."

For more:
- see this iModerate press release