When it comes to fashion, there isn’t a more important demographic for retailers to reach than millennials. They not only spend 80% more each year on fashion than other generations, but they are challenging how brands communicate with them, looking for more direct and purposeful approaches. In doing so, millennials are changing the face of fashion retail.

The findings from our latest research with 1,000 UK consumers is summarised in the infographic above (click on the image to see the expanded graphic).

We have identified three key areas fashion retailers need to focus on to reach this generation:

Engagement

It should come as no surprise that millennials are likely to engage across key digital  touchpoints (e.g. brand websites, online visual merchandising, social media, vloggers etc.). Interestingly however, our research reveals that millennials are far more open to direct influence from fashion retailers, in-store or online – 48% seek information from store staff (compared to 37% of non-millennials), 47% look at brand websites to get inspired (versus 37%), and 45% engage with store displays to help make their choices (40%).

Purpose

Unlike older generations, millennials are not driven by value – trends and brand names are much more important, particularly those with an eco-friendly angle.  High street retailers do seem to be trying to help the cause though.  For example, ASOS has launched a ‘Green Room’ that groups together sustainable fashion brands from around the globe, the retailer also has its own fair-trade label ASOS Africa and H&M have their Conscious Collection.

Purchase

Unsurprisingly, digital plays an important role in their purchase journey, with a third of purchases made online and 16% made on mobiles (the latter being three times more than older consumers). It is not only crucial to have an optimised online and mobile experience, but ultimately about using digital channels to provide edited down, manageable number of options to get this on-the-go generation to splash out the cash.

There is no denying that millennials are more demanding than other generations in how they seek inspiration, want to be communicated with and ultimately, where and how they shop. The most successful retailers will be the ones that go above and beyond to provide a meaningful and seamless experience across different touchpoints curated to the needs of this young generation.

Srishti Dhawan