USA: Despite expectations that the first “digitally native” generation would want to shop online, almost all members of Generation Z prefer to shop in bricks-and-mortar stores, according to “Uniquely Gen Z” report by IBM and the National Retail Federation.
The report highlighted that 67 per cent of Generation Z shop in a bricks-and-mortar store most of the time, with another 31 per cent shopping in-store sometimes, indicating that 98 per cent of Gen Z shop in store. There is a need for retailers to create more interactive engagement around their brands to serve the “always on”, mobile-focused, and high-spending demographic.
“Generation Z expects technology to be intuitive, relevant and engaging – their last great experience is their new expectation. This presents a significant challenge for retailers and brands to create a personalized, interactive experience with the latest digital advances or risk falling behind. This kind of innovation is not linear or a one-time project – it is a new way of thinking, operating and behaving,” said Steve Laughlin, General Manager – Global Consumer Industries, IBM.
Another interesting revelation in the report is that 75 per cent spend more than half of the money available to them each month and 52 per cent of Gen Z consumers will transfer loyalty from one brand to another if the brand’s quality is not up to par. Product quality and availability (66 per cent) and value (65 per cent) are the most important factors when choosing one brand over another.
Gen Z consumers like to engage with brands online, especially with those that create an interactive environment where customers can shape their own experience. “With technology constantly evolving but some shopping habits remaining the same, retailers need to be agile enough to serve both needs. Retailers are constantly focused on experimenting with new innovations both online and in-store to remain relevant to evolving consumer demand,” suggested Matthew Shay, President and CEO, NRF.