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Gen Z and Millennial shoppers have shifted online and the move is permanent for many.

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A study of younger shoppers finds that more than half of young adult shoppers, 30% of Gen Z and 36% of Millennials, plan to shop in physical stores less than before. 

The two generations surveyed by Kibo, also share a preference for shopping online over physical stores, with 28% of Gen Z and 24% of Millennials noting they will likely shop online more than before.

Both groups cited convenience and price comparison as the top two benefits of online shopping. With such a major shift in shopping preference and behavior, retailers must update their operations to support more online activity.

“Younger adult generations were already online shopping fans before the Covid-19 pandemic, and this research shows that they’ve moved even further toward digital channels. The research shows that retailers need to unify the customer experience online and off more than ever before. Consumer demand for convenience requires modern commerce and order management capabilities,” says Lisa Kalscheur, CMO at Kibo.

The survey collected responses from 2,000 consumers split between Gen Z (aged 18-25) and Millennials (aged 26-40). In addition to a preference for online shopping, the report also found that 55% of Millennials cited convenience as their top online shopping benefit, while 51% of Gen Z cited price comparison as their top online shopping benefit.

‘Better fit technology’ and ‘better images’ were the top two online elements that respondents wanted improvement across, while ‘Waiting for deliveries’ and ‘unpredictability of fit’ were listed as the two most negative aspects of online shopping.

Gen Z and Millennials also shared a strong preference for social media posts from brands. In particular, 64.2% of Gen Z noted that they get shopping inspiration from Instagram, compared to 39.1% of Millennials. Gen Z were also much more willing to pay more for sustainable fashion and less willing to buy from a brand that didn’t share their values.

“Gen Z in particular is showing that they expect a shopping experience that offers convenience online, and that they will choose brands that align with their own values and preferences,” says Kalscheur. “Now is not the time for retailers to guess how to create better online shopping experiences, and this research provides a clear path for the adult generations that will lead our economy in the coming years.”

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