Gen Zers are eager to experience in-store tech while they shop, with 39% hoping "just walk out" technology will be implemented within the next 12 months and 44% hoping AR and VR come to fruition during that same period, according to a study by payments platform Adyen emailed to Retail Dive.
While 46% of the youngest generation say they’re communicating with brands via chatbots, not all tech is a hit with Gen Z — 35% said they flat-out don’t want biometrics as part of their future shopping experience, according to Adyen.
The study also found that roughly 50% of Gen Zers would do more shopping if their preferred shopping experience was implemented, 66% would shop more if they could check item availability and showrooms have the potential to drive 50% more shopping among the young group.
Although much is made of the younger generation’s attachment to mobile and online shopping, Adyen’s study seems to show that Gen Zers have a soft spot for the in-store experience as long as they find their preferred in-store tech there.
In fact, the elements that Gen Zers were least excited about were the more traditional retail experiences. For example, only 7% of the up-and-coming generation found having store associates on hand to make recommendations to be the best reason to shop in stores. Likewise, the features the group were most excited about had to do with mobile or convenience-related features, like the ability to check an item’s availability before visiting a store.
This hints at Gen Z’s mobile-focused lifestyle, which plays a huge role in their shopping habits. Not only does Gen Z convert twice as much on mobile as any other generation, but 80% of the generation is influenced by social media when making purchase decisions and the group is twice as influenced by social media as by prices. Appealing to the group on their phones is a good move for retailers looking to attract the generation's attention and loyalty.
That being said, mobile is only one piece of the puzzle. While it’s hard to make generalizations about Gen Z at such an early stage, studies have shown that although the group is eager to engage with brands, they’re also picky about which brands deserve their loyalty. Specifically, 55% of Gen Zers give their time to brands they consider to be eco-friendly or socially responsible.
Getting onto that list could pay off. The younger generation is much more likely than their older counterparts to buy luxury brands and that could give retailers with a higher price point and in with the group — at least while they’re having mom and dad pay for all their shopping needs.
Adyen’s survey found that 59% of Gen Zers depend on an allowance for their spending money and only 20% of the generation is working full-time. That’s to be expected from a group as young as Gen Z — the oldest of which are barely out of college, depending which year is used as a starting point. Nevertheless, Adyen expects the generation to bring impressive spending power.
"Gen Zers are a unique generation of shoppers," Roelant Prins, chief commercial officer at Adyen, said in a press release. "They are growing up in an age where information is at their fingertips, and they can find anything they want virtually as fast as they think of it. Retailers who recognize the potential of this future power shopper and their expectations for brands will be able to respond to their needs effectively and, perhaps more importantly, profitably."