Millennials would prefer to shop on the high street, but retailers need to deliver a personalised customer experience they actually want

| April 26, 2018 | By

The high street is still the preferred way to shop for 18 to 34-year-olds, but the current experience is not meeting expectations, according to a new survey conducted by YouGov in partnership with Yoyo. More than half would be willing to share their personal data with high street retailers in return for a more personalised customer experience, with offers and discounts tailored to past purchases topping the list of demands.

Millennials would prefer to shop on the high street, but retailers need to deliver a personalised customer experience they actually want

There are mixed views about the high street

With commentators stating that British retailers have endured their worst start to the year since 2013, Yoyo wanted to find out how UK shoppers perceive the current state of the UK high street and what can be done to improve the customer experience.

According to a recent survey conducted by Yoyo and YouGov, the high street is still the favourite way to shop for 18 to 34-year-olds, but the current experience is not meeting demand.

Given a number of options on which way they would prefer to shop, the majority of 18 to 34-year-olds (42%) chose the high street, while 39% picked online.

However, while the high street took the edge as the preferred way to shop, when asked to give their current opinion of bricks and mortar retail, 26% of 18 to 34-year-olds said they shop on the high street less than they did a year ago (March 2017), and 29% claimed they avoided the high street “as much as possible”.

Michael Rolph, co-founder and CEO of Yoyo, said:

“Despite all the doom and gloom reported, this data shows a willingness among 18 to 34-year-olds for the high street to survive and prosper, but they’re asking retailers to elevate the shopping experience to match ever growing and changing expectations.”

Creating a data-led personalised customer experience on the high street

In the survey, Yoyo pointed out that when shopping online, retailers are able to use personal and past purchase data [known as basket data] to provide customers with personalised recommendations, discounts and offers.

Asked if they would be willing to share the same level of data with high street retailers in return for a similar personalised customer experience, 54% (of those who answered yes or no) said yes.

Michael Rolph added: “Personal data is a quite a hot topic at the moment, but this survey suggests that there is willingness among 18 to 34-year-olds to share their data when there’s a quid quo pro relationship, and retailers deliver experiences on the high street that consumers actually want.”

How basket data can revolutionise your customer retention strategy and create a personalised customer experience

What should a personalised customer experience look like?

Yoyo then asked 18 to 34-year-olds which personalised benefits they would most like to see introduced to their high street experience.

  • 69% said they wanted personalised deals/discounts tailored to their past purchase

  • Nearly half (49%) said the ability to skip queues was a must

  • 45% said they wanted notifications of and the chance to instantly reserve items they were likely to want that had become available in a nearby store

  • 42% wanted the ability to order in advance

  • 38% wanted digital itemised receipts

Only 2% of 18 to 34-year-olds said they didn’t know what they wanted when it came to personalised services.

Michael Rolph said:

“Consumers want their high street shopping experience to seamlessly match and exceed what they already find online and, what’s more, the majority are willing to share their data with high street retailers in exchange for these experiences.

“And if you consider new innovations like the introduction of Open Banking earlier this year, where consumers can now choose to share their personal data with trusted third parties in return for more advanced financial services, we begin to see how trusted high street retailers could easily build new services around the point-of-sale, including past purchase-based personalised deals and itemised receipts delivered straight to a customer’s banking app.”

These findings from the YouGov survey follows one of the first steps taken into the potential of Open Banking when Yoyo entered into a first-of-its-kind partnership with Starling Bank, which was announced in November 2017. Starling’s customers can now automatically reap the benefits of retailer-specific loyalty services when they use their bank card in-store, including loyalty points collection and itemised receipt delivery.

Michael Rolph, co-founder and CEO of Yoyo, concluded:

“It’s safe to say that 2018 will be seen as a turning point for high street retail. We still can’t be sure which way it will go, but with recent events in mind, it’s already becoming a case of innovate or die!”