CBRE: Millennials More Inclined to Shop In-Store Than Online

More than two-thirds of Millennials prefer shopping in a store to shopping online–and this is unlikely to dramatically change in the future–reported CBRE, Los Angeles. 

CBRE surveyed 13,000 Millennials between 22 and 29 in 12 countries. Nearly 2,000 of the respondents came from the U.S., half on the East Coast and half on the West Coast. Anthony Buono, Chairman of CBRE’s Global Retail Executive Committee, said the research dispels some assumptions and reinforces others.

“The fact that millennials have joined the workforce during a time of global economic change has had a profound impact on places they work, live and play,” Buono said. “From a retail perspective, it is a certainty that the physical store retains its position of importance in the shopper’s journey. Online is seen to complement in-store shopping rather than conflict with it.” 

Buono said this that means retailers need to create “compelling experiences” to ensure shoppers have a reason to visit again and again.

CBRE said nearly half of the millennial respondents want to be able to have a desired product immediately “and they want to be able to see, touch, feel, test and try out the product in store.” 

Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates President President and CEO Fred Schmidt said Americans still value in-store retail experiences, “but brick-and-mortar retailers will need to embrace aspects of online shopping and invest in ‘experiential retail’ to drive traffic in-store.” Experiential retail includes classes, social events and samples to draw customers into a retail store.

CBRE also said that when Millennials buy online, they want the items delivered to their own home. Nearly two-thirds said they preferred home delivery, followed by delivery to their workplace. So-called ‘click and collect’ purchases–items purchased online but picked up in a retail store–ranked a distant third.

“In countries with an established international network of retailers, it is likely that online penetration will be higher than those where retailers are more focused on local markets,” Buono said, noting that American Millennials reported doing a slightly higher percentage of their non-food shopping done online–36 percent–compared to the 35 percent global average. Mexico and Spain produced the lowest percentage of participating countries at roughly 15 percent and 20 percent, respectively.