Are Millennials building a self-service nation?
With their technological savvy and comfort with mobile devices, Millennials appear to want significantly more self-serve options at retail than older generations, according to a pair of recent surveys.
The first from location-based mobile platform Retale explored self-checkouts and was based on a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers. Among the findings:
- Twenty percent of Millennials versus 12 percent of overall respondents "don’t like interacting with cashiers";
- Twenty-six of Millennials versus 16 percent for those over 34 want to be able to pay at self-service kiosks using mobile devices.
Nearly half of all respondents (49 percent) would like to see more kiosks at every retail location to help streamline the checkout process. Asked which retailers should add more self-service kiosks, 49 percent picked mass merchandisers, followed by supermarkets (46 percent), drug stores (42 percent), convenience stores (27 percent), and department stores (24 percent).
Pat Dermody, president of Retale, said Millennials are driving demand for more automation and innovation throughout the checkout experience, via integrations with smartphones and other mobile devices. He added, "This will add to the convenience factor that already appears to be key to the experience."
Photo: Urban Outfitters
A separate study around customer service from Aspect Software and The Center for Generational Kinetics based on a survey of 1050 U.S. consumers found that 65 percent of all consumers and 69 percent of Millennials felt good about themselves and the company they are doing business with when they resolve a problem without talking to customer service.
The group that was most comfortable with solving an issue themselves was Millennial females, at over 70 percent. The researchers wrote in the study, "This finding is particularly important to pay attention to because female Millennials also happen to be ‘oversized influencers,’ given their use of technology, tight social networks and eventual role as key decision makers within their household spending."
The study likewise found many instances where Millennials favored tech over human solutions:
- Forty percent of Millennials would prefer purely online customer service, double the percentage of Boomers;
- Forty-one percent of Millennials would be "truly satisfied" if they could use text messaging or SMS to connect with companies and organizations, almost double the percentage of Boomers;
- Forty-seven percent of Millennials regularly use their smartphone to pay for things, more than three times the rate of Boomers.
- Survey: 20 percent Of Millennials Don’t Like Interacting With Cashiers During Checkout – Retale
- Customer, Serve Thy Self: New Study Reveals Millennials’ Desire for Self Service, Digital Interaction to Change Customer Service Forever – Aspect Software
- Aspect Consumer Experience Index: Millennial Research on Customer Service Expectations (study) – Aspect Software
How do you see Millennials’ affinity for technology and mobility changing self-service checkouts and other self-serve options across retail? Do you think increased self-service options would be a plus or minus for the retail experience?