I personally bought two of my favourite MAC lipsticks online three days ago and today sitting in the train on my way to work, I was looking at the absolute cutest shoes ever! – Yes, I’m a shoe person. So I picked up my loyal friend from my pocket and started comparing prices, going through product details/information and then decided that I had to go check them out after I leave the office at 5 pm.
You are probably wondering why I didn’t just click on the buy bottom, right?
Well doing my online research, I found out that I liked and wanted the shoes, but there was still a small gap – a need to touch the shoes before I actually buy them (even though I know I’m going to buy them) and experience the product at the store.
Yes me and my friends do have the need to constantly change between brick and click. Sometimes we do want to visit your brick-and-mortar store to validate our online research and to touch your product we couldn’t touch online. And I can assure you that I’m not the only millennial who has strongly embraced the ROPO effect (research online purchase offline). In fact, a big percentage (88 %) of us millennials research different products online and make the final purchase in your store.
To us the online aspect of your business is still very important, as it provides us with the convenience, to browse relevant information, photos, demos, videos etc. about your product. But on the other hand, the offline world is the place of gathering where we can interact with your products and hang out with our friends.
Even though we're digital and connected, we’re still embracing the offline world. So separating the two is a no go. Why? Because 8 out of 10 of us still use this mix of online and offline when making a purchase decisions.
What I'm saying is, for you to deliver the ultimate experience, you must understand the value of both the online and offline experience, (just like we millennials do) and recognize that they must be able to complement each other while existing as their own processes.
I want to clarify something with you before I get back to work. Yes, there has been a massive shift in the customer experience, we millennials highly rely on online resources. But we still haven't shot down the offline world. It's important for you to note, that much of the interaction between you and me is still centred on your physical store. What you should do, is to inspire us with your digital touchpoints. Inspire us with personalize content etc. Inspire us to come to your store.
Put critical effort into your eCommerce site to maximize our online experience, because that will enhance our offline experience and close a sale :)