Millennials Are So Last Year: Study Says Retailers Need To Start Thinking About Gen Z

Index Funding Digital Retail Data
New study details Gen Z's shopping habits.

Move over millennials, there’s a new kid in town that is about to become nearer and dearer to retailers’ hearts: Gen Z.

Gen-Z shoppers, defined as those between the age of 14 and 19, are about to become the most coveted demographic in all of retail, according to a study entitled “The Next Generation of Retail” by retail marketing firm Interactions.

Interactions’ study found Gen-Z shoppers to be extremely “digitally savvy,” although 64 percent of them shop primarily in stores rather than with online merchants. About three-quarters of Gen Zers also like to shop in stores that provide an “engaging in-store experience,” so think brands like Forever 21 or Urban Outfitters.

These young shoppers want the store to fit three main criteria, too: They want it to be clean, they want staff that are “friendly and knowledgeable” and they want a “positive” checkout experience.

Gen Zers are also cautious of shopping at retailers who have had past security breaches, according to the study, with 59 percent saying they would purposely avoid shopping at such retailers.

Sixty-three percent of Gen-Z shoppers expect retailers to have a strong social media presence, while 60 percent will actually shop at retailers that engage with them via social media; 82 percent said they have been influenced to buy a product or shop at a new store due to a friend’s or someone they follow on social media’s recommendation.

Other interesting findings of the survey, which involved 2,000 U.S. customers that fit the Gen-Z demographic:

  • 89 percent said they were “very price-conscious.”
  • 64 percent of Gen Zers like to pay with cash, as opposed to credit or debit cards or mobile payment apps.
  • 81 percent said they would drop their favorite brand if they found a similar product at a better value or higher quality.


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