Commentary

Millennials Get It: They're Most Open To Retail Email

There’s one clear lesson for email marketers in Euclid’s new study, The Store of the Past Meets The Shopper Of The Future: Don’t overdo it.

Half of all respondents would dump a brand that sent them too many email communications, although how they define "too many" is not clear.

On a positive note,  only 44% of millennials are perturbed about email excess, vs. 55% of baby boomers and 51% of Gen Xers. But the study warns that the millennials may denote indifference or apathy.

“Although they might not take the time to unsubscribe, neither will they pay,” it says.

Millennials are also more likely to use email to "get in touch" with a brand, with 39% saying they would. Again, how Euclid defines "get in touch" is not clear: Does it mean to communicate with a brand or simply to learn about it?

Whatever is meant by getting in touch, 40% would utilize Facebook for this, 31% the brand’s website, 28% Instagram and 23% Twitter.

Boomers are not as quick to embrace technology — 43% say they don’t use a single one of these channels, although 49% say they would let stores know about planned visits in return for discounts. In addition, 70% of boomers are uncomfortable with the idea of smart assistants such as Alexa.

Overall, the study documents millennial comfort with technology and boomer discomfort.

Millennials are also more up for in-store visits to stores that use technology, with 47% saying so compared with 38% of Generation X and 23% of boomers. 

Also, 47% like to shop online and pick up in-store. In contrast, 30% of Generation X and 13% of boomers feel the same.

But don’t think digital is outshining brick-and-mortar. Overall, 60% see physical shopping as more secure and 48% as more customer-centric. And 59% say offline shopping is informative.

On the other hand, 61% feel online shopping is affordable, and 59% view it as more innovative.

Here’s one other takeaway for retailers: you can get away with mistreating some consumers. One third don’t mind long checkout times, or care about return policy or product availability.

But, again, boomers are crankier about these niceties than younger folk—59%  demand a reasonable checkout time, compared with 42% of GenXers and 34% of millennials.

And 52% say a reasonable return policy is a high priority, vs. roughly 33% of millennials. The older generation also expects stores to have the items they want.

Euclid surveyed 1,500 U.S. consumers. 

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