Younger Brits remain the most likely to merge online and offline retail experiences for the best deals on products.

A new survey from digital marketing firm SmartFocus reveals that 61% of shoppers aged 16-24 years old have noticed a closer connection between their online and physical purchasing habits in recent years. In a typical scenario a consumer will use a smartphone to browse and identify goods they later buy in store, and three quarters of the younger group said their use of a handheld device for shopping was at a peak.

The same cannot be said for the nation’s ‘silver surfers’, as just 15% of 55-year-olds said they use a smartphone for shopping.

This has led to the UK falling slightly behind the US in its adoption of new retail trends. ‘Showrooming’ for example – known as the practice of browsing in-store and buying online – is being performed by over 60% of US shoppers compared to just over half in the UK.

The bargaining chip

To help brands reverse this trend and to bring older age groups into the omnichannel age, the survey provided some examples of how incentives could be used to speed up rates of digital adoption.

In its survey of over 2,000 consumers, SmartFocus discovered that a resounding 76% of showroomers – both young and old – do this for the best prices on their goods. In addition, 66% of the younger shoppers said they were more likely to buy something upon receiving a discount for an item via email or text.

Yet with consumers growing to expect relevancy with the offers they receive, brands now face the challenge of obtaining enough personal information to power their direct campaigns.

Fortunately an appeasing offer can also help in this department. SmartFocus revealed that 61% of shoppers are willing to share their data in exchange of personalised shopping experiences, while even older shoppers were more likely to exchange their information for a discount.

New acquisition

Readings from the study were released in light of SmartFocus’s purchase of communications firm Tagpoints. The latter pairs Beacon technology with iOS/Android-compatible apps in sending offers to consumers once they enter an assigned radius, usually in the form of a physical store.

The company also announced a buyout of ContentSavvy, an analytics firm which can lift publically available data from media channels for a breadth of consumer insights. SmartFocus will now hope to use both of its new acquisitions in the development of a new omnichannel digital marketing system.