Millennials favour more traditional digital channels over social media for retailer Despite being the generation most comfortable with social media, when it comes to retailer promotions millennials want to hear about them via email and on retailer websites, according to research from RapidCampaign. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The survey of 2,000 consumers, showed that for 16 to 24 year olds email is the top channel of choice for finding out about promotions, followed by a retailer's website, with social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook not having as much impact.

The research report, entitled 'Brands We Love versus Brands We Buy', showed that frequent 'reports of the death of email are overstated' (to paraphrase Mark Twain), at least with regard to promotions.

An overwhelming majority (76%) of consumers prefer to hear about retailer promotions in their email inbox, followed by seeing them on a retailer's website, selected by 23%. Perhaps surprisingly, the figure for brand-owned sites was higher for younger generations, with 34% of 18 to 24 year olds claiming this was their preferred channel for promotion spotting - a percentage that declines steadily toward older age groups in favour of email.

Facebook was the third top retailer promotion channel, cited by 15%, but it peaked in preference with a slightly older age group of 25 to 34 year olds, with 27% stating the social network was how they wanted to learn about promotions.

The research tallies with suggestions that younger generations are increasingly less reliant on Facebook as a communication channel, and indicates that as far as promotions go it is not social networks they are turning to, preferring to find offers closer to the point of purchase on retailer websites.

"We are seeing a trend among marketers in finding promotions as not only an effective engagement tool at the top of the sales funnel, bringing in customers that would not buy from you normally, but also as a conversion tool closer to the point of sale. With the significant resource marketers are putting into channels including email, social networks, PPC and search, engaging promotions are an invaluable missing link in converting more of that hard-earned traffic," explained Marko Luhtala, CEO for RapidCampaign. "High street retailers have long known the benefits of putting promotions in a shop front window or in store, and that strategy has not stopped being effective. In fact with younger generations showing they are the most eager to see promotions on retailers' digital shop fronts and stores, and marketers spending more on driving traffic from external channels, it will be increasingly powerful approach."