The National Retail Federation and IBM’s Institute for Business Value recently released a report that discovered that Generation Z shoppers are developing relationships with brands, and look to tech as a way to meet their expectations, while typical shopping priorities such as price, availability, and convenience remain important, reports Retail Dive.
While almost half (47%) use their phones to check prices while in stores, many share photos of items of potential purchases.
Despite being the first generation born into a smartphone-dominated world, 98% reported buying in stores “some or most of the time.” As a matter of fact, three times as many Gen Zers reported shopping mostly in stores compared to those who reported shopping primarily online.
One key point is that all channels must remain open. Half described it as “important or very important” to switch between channels while researching, browsing, or shopping. Over half, (56%) say fun in-store experiences have heavy influences on where they decide to shop.
Gen Zers are cautious about sharing data, with 54% asking for control over the information they give out. However, 61% said if they could be assured that data was protected and secure, they would be comfortable with sharing it.
Beyond that, technology must be done for more than its own flashy sake. Gen Zers prefer technology that gives them greater experiential control and adds a functional value, such as enabling them to examine inventory.
Born in the year 1995 or later, Generation Z is projected to have 2.56 billion members by 2020, according to the report. They’re forming their shopping habits in what Jane Cheung and Simon Glass, IBM researchers, described as a “fluid digital world, in which the boundaries between their physical and online lives have converged.”
Information from tech has let them grow up self-reliant and savvy. Smartphones are a ubiquitous feature of their lives, making mobile a crucial element of reaching them. NRF and IBM discovered that 75% make use of a smartphone or mobile phone as their preferred device, and a quarter will spend five hours or more on them each day.
When it comes to shopping habits, 47% said they use smartphones in their store, while 35% pay using them.
Technology that is creative and fun is also appealing to Gen Zers. When asked what they would be most pleased to see, 55% say they like to design unique products, while 48% want in-store tools that let them make adjustments to products, and 42% want to design and create unique products on-site.
Back to the point of practical tech, 39% want to see robotics help make buying decisions or fix order issues. Meanwhile, 32% want products that tell the manufacturer or store about upgrades or fixes, and 31% want to see interactive screens and other tools that offer online access while they’re inside stores.
Check out the awesome report here.