Potential for retail

As customers, millennials pose add­itional challenges for industries such as retail. Ongoing digitisation, which characterises the lives of millennials and is playing a growing role in daily work, is transforming the retail sector. The question of whether stationary retail will soon become obsolete is an area of debate among experts. Stores that operate through stationary retail alone are no longer attract­ing millennials; instead, it is the combination of online and offline channels that promises the greatest success. Millennials are constantly connected, and this is reflected in their purchasing behaviour: when entering a store to buy a product, they have often already researched products, prices and other offers online. This phenomenon is called the ROPO effect – research online, purchase offline. Mobile internet has only reinforced this effect. Thanks to the smartphone, shopping can now even take place online and offline at the same time. According to a study by the German market research institute GfK, around 40 per cent of 20- to 29-year-olds use their mobile phone while they are in a store. 42 per cent of them grab their mobile phones to compare prices.