Jan 16, 2017
Despite expectations that the first digitally native generation wants to shop online, a new study released by IBM and the National Retail Federation found that almost all members of Generation Z prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores. With the global Gen Z population set to reach 2.6 billion by 2020, retailers need to ceate a more interactive engagement around their brands, according to the study. The study is based on findings from more than 15,000 consumers ages 12 to 21 from 16 countries.
The new generation is important to retailers because it has access to $44 billion in buying power, with 75 percent saying they spend more than half of the money that is available to them each month, according to the study. The study found 52 percent of Gen Z consumers will transfer loyalty from one brand to another if the brand’s quality is not up to par.
The study also found 74 percent of respondents spend their free time online, with 25 percent online five hours or more each day. The degree to which in-store sales are influenced by digital is inevitable in today’s shopping journey—and continues to grow. Seventy-three percent of Gen Z uses their phones primarily to text and chat with family and friends, but are willing to extend their conversations to brand relationships; 36 percent would create digital content for a brand; 42 percent would participate in an online game for a campaign; 43 percent would participate in a product review; 62 percent will not use apps or websites that are difficult to navigate; 60 percent will not use apps or websites that are slow to load. They also want to know how their personal information will be protected.