Millennials and the Shift to Experiential Retail

Millennials and the Shift to Experiential Retail

Millennials have been shaping the tech industry over the past decade, with the last of this generation now holding a permanent foothold in the workforce and thus hold a lot of disposable income. Despite “the end of physical retail” being predicted at least once a year since Amazon became a household name, we still have brick-and-mortar retail spaces fighting to keep transactions physical and local by embracing technology and making shopping something young people look forward to.

But how? By making retail experiential, seductive and memorable.

Millennials crave more experiences, based from Eventbrite’s research and 69% suffered from Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) due to massive social media posting of events. If retailers can capitalise shifting their focus to hosting experiences which can be shared, they'll find a market waiting for them.


What seems like a massive leap from what the traditional retailer’s activities has actually been practiced for years. We have been sampling tasters in the food aisle in grocery stores for years, effectively experiencing a brand in a retail environment, coming away with a sense of pleasant surprise.

It’s a scaled-down example, but if you took a bigger retail space, threw in a retailer’s own brand of goods and then gave out more samples with an encouraging hashtag - suddenly, you have interested customers and a way to track interest in the product via the hashtag.

It’s a general scenario but it’s a simple example of experiential retail in action that can capture the millennial market's attention.

As per Accenture, Millennials “demand a customer-centric shopping experience—one tailored to their wants and needs as valued customers”. Jen Musgreave of Rapp knows that loyalty programmes are a big draw as they reward customers for consistently shopping; What did they buy last time; did they use the discount voucher; have they tailored their preferences?”. It does sound obvious, but knowing the customer makes it a lot easier to create a retail experience you know that will capture their attention - like BooHoo’s first pop-up shop in the USA. The US clothing market is saturated with brands, so BooHoo made a showroom for customers to post their outfits online. From this, BooHoo were able to find what worked and what didn’t work via the amount of likes and interactions each outfit received - this then informed their next steps in the US retail market, so experiential retail gave BooHoo vital information on their customers, the wider market and which products would potentially sell well.

The shift to keep Millennial consumers satisfied is now in full swing and if you haven’t started to move to experiential retail, the sooner you do, the better. If this brilliant article hasn’t convinced you, Popertee has thousands of spaces on for your business to try an experiential event with a pop-up space, with smart location data to help you track your perfect audience.