Study of Gen Y shopping habits further underscores importance of multichannel

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Serving as yet further evidence to support the importance of being a multichannel retailer and supplier is the new RedPrairie study illustrating the shopping habits of Gen Y.

(THE NEWS: RedPrairie report reveals shopping preferences of Gen Y. For the full story, click here)

Gen Y, also known as millennials, represents a generation of digitally adept multitaskers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, their numbers are 80 million to 90 million strong, and they are more ethnically diverse and technology-focused than previous generations — pretty important stats, no doubt, and not ones to be taken lightly.

As David Bruno, director of corporate messaging at RedPrairie, indicated, successfully reaching tech-savvy millennials is about adding value to their shopping experience and respecting their preferred methods of communication.

Bruno went on to say, “When it comes to trying to satisfy millennials, the bottom line for brands is adaptability. One minute they want to shop and compare online and via every social networking site available, and the next they want to purchase in store. “

Meanwhile, a recent report from IBM noted a rise in mobile shopping and a dip in social media sales during the second quarter — further evidence supporting the importance of a multichannel approach.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Today’s retailers and suppliers need to embrace the importance of being multichannel in order to successfully engage with today’s shoppers. And that obviously includes Gen Y.

In fact, the explosion of mobile technologies and social networking has unleashed new revenue possibilities for Walgreens, and Walgreens’ leaders have been pushing to upgrade communications capabilities and reach consumers through every channel, from stores and drive-through pharmacies to social media and smartphones.

“Multichannel shoppers are three times more valuable to a retailer than a single-channel shopper,” president and CEO Greg Wasson said in January.

These studies and the move by Walgreens are just a few examples and clearly are just the tip of the iceberg.

What do you see as some of the most effective and innovative multichannel approaches out there today?

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