Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Study Highlights Gen Z’s Retail Preferences and Expectations

Just for the record, Generation Z applies to anyone born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s…in case you wondered!

While much of the world continues to focus on Millennials, a recent study carried out by Marketing Dive highlighted the expectations and preferences of Generation Z. At least, in terms of retailers and brands in general, from whom it seems they expect quite a lot! 

This is a generation that’s made it clear on countless occasions that they prefer experiences to products. There are all about engagement and the overall experience, rather than simply buying whatever’s cheapest or most readily available. In terms of online shopping, they show huge preference to product recommendations and reviews, mobile optimised websites, free shipping, simplified returns processes and access to coupon codes. All the kinds of things retailers should be taking note of, if looking to attract, engage and retain Gen Z audiences.

One of the most interesting findings of the study is the apparent revelation that Gen Z doesn’t hate mass-marketing to the same extent as other generations. Just as long as the ads in question are of relevance and provide value, almost 50% of Gen Z consumers appreciate the informative nature of the ads in question. So it’s hardly surprising that around 44% expect the ads they encountered to be relevant, or pay them no mind whatsoever.

In particular, they show greatest preference to ads in reference to products or services they either purchased or browsed previously, which may provide them with some kind of reminder or discount code to incentivise their conversion. Once again, food for thought for anyone working in digital marketing.

Another interesting finding clearly illustrates the fact that the High Street is by no means dead and buried. Quite the contrary, as a huge 80% of Gen Z consumers stated that they genuinely enjoy the opportunity to shop in physical stores when time permits. Nevertheless, 75% tend to do most of their shopping online, due to simple accessibility and convenience. Despite the fact that 65% stated that they prefer to physically examine and inspect products before buying them, they still make most of their purchases online.

When Gen Z consumers decide to hit the High Street, almost 70% use their mobile devices to research products and services, before going ahead and purchasing them from the respective store. As for motivating factors on the High Street, Gen Z shoppers were found to respond particularly strongly to creative displays, unique merchandise, attractive store design and the ability to try out products and services before making purchases.

Back with online retail, almost 40% of this enormous and lucrative demographic believe it’s often difficult to find what they need on the web. In addition, around 35% stated that they are still somewhat uncomfortable buying products online. They’ve become accustomed to online retail in general, though don’t necessarily trust online retailers and will typically compare the products of at least a handful of sites, before making any final purchase decisions.

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