Customer Focus

UK supermarkets need to adapt to the way generation Y and Z want to shop

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UK supermarkets must look to the shopping habits of upcoming generations if they are to maintain their revenues in the future.

A study from SpectrumInsight found that generation Y and Z shoppers are 45% and 100% respectively less likely than generation X parents and grandparents to use UK supermarkets when they shop online for non-food items.

Their shopping habits also differ, the study found. SpectrumInsight believes new entrants to the UK supermarket online shopping sector, such as Morrisons and Amazon, could take revenues away from the existing big four who are already online, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.

“If new entrants can bridge the gap between food and non-food items they could rapidly overtake existing services in the growing UK supermarket online shoping sector. This is serious for UK supermarkets because gen Z consumers are their future, and once lost it will be much harder and costly to get them back again.”

Other findings included the idea that generation Z consumers were less likely to express retail rage when shopping online than generation X online shoppers.

“Young people typically don’t have to balance work and family as much, so it’s not really surprising that older generations express more retail rage when deliveries are late or substitutions made,” said Westaby. “But evidence from the study is that retail rage increases with age, so it is most likely that gen Z consumers will not remain as patient as they become older. One thing for certain is that supermarkets will face much greater competition for online shopping services across all categories so they cannot afford to be complacent.”

The SpectrumInsight study, Delivering the Goods, was based on a qualimetric approach that analysed samples from 3.6m comments made by 2.05m shoppers through Twitter.