As online companies continue to become more prominent players in the retail industry, brands have to develop innovative approaches and strategies in order to differentiate themselves from the larger competition. Fortunately, with more consumer data available, companies are able to better understand shopping habits and predict behavior. This information can shape marketing approaches and promote greater brand success.

Studies show that the key to adapting retail brands in order to appeal to a broader range of shoppers is to understand current shopper habits; understanding millennial shoppers proves especially valuable in furthering brands.

According to the report, while older generations prove more receptive to advertising strategies, millennials are often deterred by traditional advertising. Instead, millennials harbor different expectations, wherein they favor companies that deliver on personalized experiences and convenience rather than ad campaigns. Similar to earlier generations, millennials often don’t care for email marketing; in fact, half maintain they would be more likely to unsubscribe to a brand that had sent out too many messages.

Unlike Baby Boomer and Gen X shoppers, who remain more reliant on in-store shopping experiences, millennial consumers prove less likely to commit to either online or physical stores exclusively. Millennials are most likely to combine methods of shopping to best suit their personal needs, often opting to shop online and pick up items in-store to expedite their process.  As most millennials tend to reserve shopping in stores for social reasons—they seek shared experiences with friends and family—they are more likely to prefer quick “get in, get out” retail experiences when they are not social shopping.

Companies seeking to effectively reach millennials should consider integrating technology and personalization to improve customer experience, and consider price as a motivating factor. While all generations would prefer brands optimize technology to streamline shopper experience and curate products to best serve consumer needs, integrating technology proves particularly valuable in appealing to millennials who hold expectations for personalized and convenient shopping experiences.

The study has also shown that introducing a variety of innovative channels proves another way to appeal to millennials. As shoppers tend to respond to creative brands that differentiate themselves from the competition, companies can opt for incorporating channels that set them apart. One channel that proves especially appealing is new buying models, specifically subscription boxes. According to the report, about one in three millennials use subscription services.

Companies can also capitalize on millennials’ fear of missing out by introducing pop-up stores. Pop-up stores, especially in retail spaces, can enliven brands as consumers become more compelled to shop at stores if they feel as though they will miss out on exclusive merchandise or sales.

While online retail giants might boast a strong retail presence, companies can draw upon consumer data to adapt marketing approaches to appeal to a broader audience of shoppers, effectively distinguishing themselves from other companies within the industry.