How to Plan Retail Spaces for Millennials
Larger than the epic Baby Boom generation, millennials currently make up about 92 million of the population in the US. Born between the 1980 and 2000, Millennials (or Generation Yers) are defined as those who reached adulthood during the 21st century. They’re known to be incredibly tech-savvy, environmentally friendly, and avid researchers – especially when it comes to making purchases. While it is true that millennials still make 75% of their purchases in traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores, over half compare prices and actively research brands, prices and reviews before ever setting foot inside the physical location. For brands wanting to ensure that the Millennials who have researched them and their products online reason complete the final in-person sale, it is incredibly important to pay attention to both in-store design as well as the design of websites and mobile apps.
Here are some tips for designing brick-and-mortar locations that benefit millennials:
1. Utilize Omnichannel – The design and brand of your website, mobile apps and online stores as well as your brick-and-mortar locations should feel like it is from the same company. Creating a similar experience and brand in all “locations’ whether physical or virtual gives shoppers the comfort to browse and research before even leaving their house. Some great examples include Sephora and L.L. Bean.
2. Cut Down on the Clutter – Minimizing clutter and adding more organized “white space” provides a sense of serenity for millennial shoppers. Try reducing the number of displays or sales racks.
3. Pay Attention to Color – Limit your color palette to neutral colors rather than overly bright and bold. This evokes natural relaxation for Generation Yers. Bringing in colors from nature is an easy way to provide a “getaway” experience. Think of Urban Outfitters.
4. Appeal to All the Senses – While design and color remain of paramount importance, you can’t forget about smell and sound. Calming music and scents tailored to your brand can greatly influence shoppers’ decisions. Stores like Bath and Body Works appeal to all the senses. Soft lighting accompanied by calm music and amazing smells invite the shopper to escape to their “calming space” without having to leave the store.
5. Create Space – If you can’t afford an entire remodel, try creating resting space within. Rearranging furniture and clothing racks can provide optimum space for millennials to shop and recharge before finalizing their purchase. Examples include stores like Nordstrom that have café style areas.
For more tips from Eric Eberhardt, Director of Retail at NELSON, click here.
Design Director, Managing Principal
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