- Gen Zers enjoy in-store experiences, with 80% saying they look forward to shopping in stores when they have time, but 75% prefer to do most shopping online when they can out of convenience, according to a new Criteo report provided to Marketing Dive. Gen Z is defined as those born between 1994 and 2002.
- Nearly two in three Gen Zers (65%) prefer being able to touch and feel products before making a purchase, and 67% use their phones in stores to research items they plan to purchase. Store design, unique merchandise, displays showing products in use and having ways to try out products are the top motivators for getting Gen Z shoppers into stores.
- When it comes to online shopping, 38% of Gen Zers say its difficult to find what they need online, and 35% don’t feel comfortable making purchases online. They also are more likely to compare products on a site, and more than one-third regularly visit multiple sites. However, retailer websites are becoming just as popular as social media in influencing Gen Z purchases.
As the Criteo research reveals, there’s a close but complex relationship between online and in-store shopping among Gen Z, which make up about a quarter of the population and have growing purchasing power. While a majority prefer shopping online out of convenience, many are being let down by the experiences that e-commerce sites offer. And, as other research has also shown, it mostly boils down to personalization — something that has been a struggle for marketers, but will be essential to luring the next-generation consumer.
Gen Zers expect a lot from brands and retailers. Their interest in in-store shopping stems from the group’s preference for experiences over products and the ability to engage with brands in an authentic way. The generation most shaped by technology, Gen Zers focus on factors like discounts, free return shipping, appealing photos, mobile optimization, unique products and product recommendations when shopping online. Marketers need to address this multitude of issues if they hope to create loyal Gen Z consumers.
Unlike older generations, Gen Z doesn’t mind ads, as long as they provide value. Previous research from MNI Targeted Media found that 48% of Gen Z say ads help them learn about new products, 47% appreciate relevant ads and 44% expect ads to be relevant. The ads that they find most valuable are for products they had been shopping for that either offer a discount or a reminder to make a purchase, according to the Criteo report, suggesting retargeting can be an effective strategy for reaching this audience.