How does in-store Wi-Fi improve retail experiences? It depends on who you ask. New research suggests that men and women — as well as different generations — value and use Wi-Fi in different ways to bolster their shopping experience.
It might be obvious that consumers of different ages would use their smartphones in different ways when shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. But not all of the insights are intuitive — in fact, the research’s findings on the differences between men and women highlights the diverse tastes that need to be considered.
When building mobile experiences targeting in-store shoppers, retailers will need to target more diverse strategies that accommodate for these different preferences — especially for brands that sell to a broad, diverse consumer base.
“This research clearly illustrates a trend: Millennials and other mobile-connected consumers want from physical retail what they get online: A highlight personalized and convenient shopping experience,” says Euclid Analytics CEO Brent Franson. “As these shoppers walk into stores, Wi-Fi will create the new ‘logged-in’ experience that bridges the physical and digital worlds.”
Where Consumers Differ On Mobile
In general, men and women seek similar things when using mobile devices in stores. Both seek “tailored experiences” that provide personalized VIP-like treatment.
But the form of that personalization can vary. Women, for example, are most drawn to exclusive deals and promotions accessible through mobile devices — especially deals that seem tailored to their interests. Men, by contrast, are most motivated by convenience. Efficient options like expedited check-out are far more motivating to men than deals and promotions.
This desire for mobile-driven experiences is stronger among younger generations, with millennials leading the way. Gen-Xers also want digital shopping experiences delivered through their mobile devices, though not quite at the same frequency as millennials.
Baby boomers lag behind in this regard, but not as far as some might think. They’ve gotten used to their mobile devices and understand the opportunities of digital shopping experiences. Fifty-nine percent welcome mobile messages from retailers when shopping in stores, compared to 88 percent of millennials.
Overall, the research confirms the continued sprawl of the digital in-store experience, made possible through mobile devices: 81 percent of all consumers want to receive communications from retail stores after they’ve visited.
That’s just one more reminder that the brick-and-mortar experience doesn’t start and stop at the front door.
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