Generation Y (otherwise known as Millennials) are the first generation to come of age in a solely digital world. Information is constantly accessible at their fingertips, and knowledge – as well as money – is flowing through their computer screens.

While the online behaviour of this demographic is well documented, what is still open to debate is how these shoppers operate when in the physical retail unit. Understanding how to translate their virtual activity and behaviour patterns into real-life shopping situations can be key for creating a successful retail marketing campaign to this age group.

According to Colmar Burton, a New Zealand based market research company, Gen Y can be categorised into six tribes, which have varying life goals ranging from climbing the career ladder to starting a family. Interestingly, there is only a little difference between spenders and savers – 14 and 17 per cent respectively of those surveyed.

Analysing millennial use of technology and their online presence can be essential when creating content and advertising to translate smartphone browsing into in-store purchases. This generation has a range of options available to them when it comes to spending their cash, and a multiple format method is needed to create, maintain and engage a customer base.

Word of mouth is no longer enough to create a trusted brand, as Deloitte UK research recently found that 81 per cent of people look online for their peers’ opinions on products and services. Therefore, a solid online presence as well as reliable delivery is required to capture this market both online and in-store.

This is also the first generation to really understand the concept – and power – of branding, cultivating online personalities to complement real-life image. This has lead to an increased focus on quality when providing to this customer base, who may be willing to spend more to create their desired look as part of wider control of image.

Yet this category of shoppers do visit shopping centres and so having a foothold in the bricks and mortar section of retail remains a necessity – it’s just that going in-store is just one aspect of the shopping process for Gen Y consumers.