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Young People Visit Store to Try Before They Buy Says New Research

By Francis West on 11th August 2016

New research by Vodat International shows that so called ‘Generation Z’ shoppers are the most likely group to go to a physical shop and validate potential purchases by trying them out before they buy.

'Gen-Z' Challenge For Retailers

Shoppers born between 1995 and 2010 are known as Generation Z or Gen-Z for short. According to the Vodat research, they look likely to be presenting quite a few challenges to both physical and digital retailers in the coming years for several reasons, including :

  • Gen-Z are an unknown quantity. Not much is known about their habits and preferences compared to other generations such as the millennials.

  • They are motivated to visit shops by physical interaction and the ability to get the product right now. This has implications for stock / ordering and communicating availability to Gen-Z customers. It also has implications for store environments and how to create a social element.

  • They expect free Wi-Fi in a store. For example nearly 50% of people between 10 and 21 are more likely to visit a store if they can gain access to free Wi-Fi. Retailers may need to consider offering this as a pre-requisite to help attract Gen-Z shoppers.

  • They expect - and want - to visit stores that use technology (e.g. to minimise waiting).

    For example 38% would be more inclined to visit a store with self-checkout services and 18% of young shoppers said the ability to use “scan and shop” applications for browsing and purchasing in stores. 20% of those surveyed would also like to use augmented reality changing rooms and virtual queue ticketing systems. The inclusion of complex technology in the retail environment obviously has some serious cost implications for retailers.

  • They want environments that they can customise.

    For example, 15% of Gen-Z would like more personalisation in shops in the next 5 years and 16% would like to use changing rooms where the lighting, temperature and music can be customised. Once again this could pose some complex challenges to retailers and could of course have cost implications.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

If you are a retailer it is therefore important that you are able to offer the right digital customer experience in order to attract Gen-Z customers to physical stores. The physical store itself should be the important link in the chain of an omni-channel experience that businesses will have to ensure is consistent throughout.

Retail businesses will need to develop the right back-end systems to support the new consumer-facing technology that will enable them to deliver the right omni-channel experience.