35% of Boomers Prefer Retailer Sites to Buying Directly from Brands

baby boomers, seniors, eCommerce, online shopping

The competition for customers amongst brand websites, store websites and online marketplaces continues to be shaped by a complex web of consumer preferences, trust considerations and strategic characteristics.

The Online Features Driving Consumers to Shop With Brands, Retailers or Marketplaces,” a report by PYMNTS Intelligence and Adobe, drew on insights gathered from a survey of over 3,520 U.S. consumers to examine the primary factors influencing online shoppers’ decision-making process and the differences in strategies used by the three different kinds of merchants.

According to the research, 28% of consumers prefer to buy directly from a brand as opposed to a third-party retailer’s website, with Gen Z leading this trend. In fact, 43% of Gen Z prefers direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand purchases, making them the most likely age group to do so. 

This presents a significant opportunity for businesses, given that Gen Z spending amounts to $14 billion per month or $169 billion annually. “Factor in their preference for brands, and their spending on retail purchases directly from brands could represent $72 billion annually,” the report added.

Approximately 32% each of millennials and bridge millennials prefer a brand website over a merchant’s online store.

retail, shopping, eCommerce, consumer preferences

Baby boomers, on the other hand, are most inclined to make their online purchases from third-party retailers’ sites instead of brand websites.

This preference can be attributed to several factors, the study found. Firstly, retailer sites often offer a wider range of products, giving consumers more options to choose from. Third-party online retailers are also known for their competitive pricing, making them an attractive choice for price-conscious deal chasers who want to save money on their purchases.

Trust is another aspect of shopping that is examined in the survey. Three in four consumers viewed it as crucial when selecting a store, and 15% of customers who primarily made their retail purchases on brand websites stated that trust was the driving force behind their decision, above and beyond all other considerations. 

On the other hand, prices, rather than trust, were more important to customers who made the majority of their purchases through a retailer site or an online marketplace.

The research also revealed that online marketplaces excelled in implementing features that consumers value when shopping, such as fast delivery, free shipping and a broad product variety. This indicates that while trust is important, some consumers are willing to compromise on it in favor of other factors like pricing and convenience. 

Overall, the study found that improving the shopping features that customers value is essential for retailers to foster loyalty and increase customer engagement across different age demographics.