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Half of Millennials prefer to shop in physical stores

Almost half of 18-to-34-year-olds prefer to shop for clothes in a physical store, a new survey has found.

Customer analytics company Adoreboard studied the emotional responses expressed by 10,000 millennial consumers in a survey about their clothing shopping habits and preferences, and which brands they rank most highly.

The study revealed that 49% of 18-to-34-year-olds prefer to shop for clothes in bricks-and-mortar stores, compared with 39% through websites and 11% via apps. The remaining 1% of respondents said ‘elsewhere’.

One in three consumers said they feel less certain of their choices when they shop online.

Brand trust seems to be generated more by human rather than AI support, as 76% of millennials surveyed said they prefer online human assistance to a chatbot.

Adoreboard’s Fashion Retail Barometer ranking measures the 10 high street fashion brands 18-to-34-year-olds rank most highly. Interestingly, the beleauguered New Look came out on top.

The report said: “Customers trust New Look clothing and recognise that this retailer provides affordable fashion and great value for money with the products they receive.”

Asos came second. Those surveyed said they trusted the etailer to provide an efficient and effective delivery and free returns service.

One respondent said: “Unique designs and a company that gives small designers a chance. I often shop with ASOS, I usually spend a long time browsing and often end up buying more than I planned because of their free shipping and returns policy. Great service.”

H&M came in fourth place, behind Primark in third. Respondents complained about the H&M’s sizing being too small, and this ranked highest on the “anger” and “sadness” sections of the survey.  The retailer announced it would address the issue earlier this month.

Sizing complaints also were at the heart of Topshop’s score. It ranked sixth of the 10 brands analysed, and scored particular highly on “sadness” because of small sizing.

Overall, personalised customer service, value, affordability and ethics were the most important clothes shopping motivators for millennial consumers.

Nearly two-thirds (61%) said ethics and sustainability were important when shopping for clothes, compared with 26% who were undecided or had no preference and 12% who said ethics were not important to them.

More than eight in 10 (85%) of 18-to-34-year-olds said social media influenced their fashion buying decisions, and Instagram was the most popular influencer channel. A further 53% said they would rather get their information directly from the brand’s app.

Chris Johnston, chief executive of Adoreboard, said: “There’s been a lot of comment recently about the high street business model failing customers. But our report proves that millennials – those consumers whose spending power will drive retail and brand performance over the next generation – want, need and value that in-person, human, individualised experience.”

Readers' comments (3)

  • This article is somewhat misleading as 18-34 age group does not consist solely of millennials. I suspect if that if just they were surveyed, the figures would clearly show a high to very high proportion of them shop online.

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  • The headline 'Millennials prefer to shop in physical stores' is misleading as more millennials prefer to shop online (which should inc via App) at 50% vs offline at 49%. Where's the other 1% going?

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  • The Millennials I know can't be bothered with shops. They just don't see the point in them.

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