In a recent InternetRetailing webinar, Live Consumer Q&A: Gen Z Panel, we were joined by Martin Shaw of InternetRetailing’s research business RetailX, Rachel Tonner, head of marketing at Cybertill and a panel of five members of Generation Z, Daniel, Tracey, Michael, Cemil and Rach, to find out more about this generation’s attitudes to shopping, from mobile and loyalty to sustainability, omnichannel and in-store technology. Here’s a bulletpoint overview of what they said.
- Introductions: members of the panel spoke about their latest shopping experience
- Overview of Cybertill/YouGov research findings: among others, these included 36% want to buy through apps, and 33% fast track checkout.
- Web traffic share: RetailX analysis of how customers visit marketplaces and leading retailers
- Questions: do shoppers use mobile websites or apps? What could retailers do better? How do you see mobile use changing in the future?
- Everyone had used both apps and mobile websites, but tended to use websites more often.
- “Mobile apps tend to be set up better for mobile phones,” said one participant, but others said they’d had stock issues and payment issues using apps and preferred to shop from the mobile website. “I’d like more accurate recommendations,” said another panellist.
- All said they’d probably use mobile more and more in the future.
- Overview of Cybertill research findings, including the findings that 52% don’t shop enough for it to be worth being in a loyalty scheme, while 30% who are members of a loyalty scheme.
- Questions: what loyalty schemes are the panellists members of, how do they use them, would they shop from a retailer if they weren’t in its loyalty scheme?
- “More often than not, a lot of T-shirts don’t fit me, it depends on the brand, so free returns are important.” Panellists value free delivery above points.
- Overview of Cybertill research findings, including that 31% of respondents wanted a donation station that would reward those who donate used clothing to be recycled, while 13% wanted a repair service for clothing they bought. “There is a growing movement among consumers to be more sustainable shoppers,” said Rachel Tonner, pointing to steps that government and retailers are taking on sustainable fashion.
- Martin Shaw on trends in recommerce and reuse of goods. Recent RetailX Global Luxury Market report showed how there’s been growth in marketplaces that resell secondhand goods. Luxury brands are moving to bring those goods back onto their own platform and resell there. ”It’s a way of offering entry-level pricing to future brand-loyal customers.”
- Question: Is it important to recycle clothing? What do panellists do with clothing they no longer wear? Will GenerationZ pay more for sustainable products?
- “I keep my clothes” “I tend to put my designer T-shirts on eBay.” “Depending on condition put them in a charity bag or sell on a marketplace site.” Sixty:forty of the room said they didn’t mind if products were sustainable. Some said they would pay a certain amount more for sustainable goods. One panellist, a student, said he wouldn’t.
- Overview of Cybertill research: “Omnichannel is the new normal – about online influencing sales, wherever they take place.” GenZ prefer to buy in store, with shopping a leisure activity: asked which ways they’d consider buying different items, 73% said they would buy clothes in store, 61% directly through a retailer online or via an app, and 52% through a marketplace. The findings looked at 10 categories from footwear and jewellery to furniture and toys.
- Martin Shaw, RetailX, said that only a minority of the Top500 were online only, with 82 (16%) of the Top500 online only, and only 12 of the Top100. Many expanding their online stores, but pureplays extending their reach via stores. Most are multichannel, with half of those retailers enabling online functions such as enabling shoppers to return an ecommerce order to the store.
- Questions: Do you use click and collect? Do you pay for it? What would make your ideal shopping scenario? How late should the latest delivery be? Would coffee shops in stores help?
- Panel: “I use click and collect if I know I’m going to be near that store in the next couple of days, on the way to or from work.” “Would wait for free delivery over paid click and collect.” “Used to use it at university because deliveries to halls were harder.” “Same-day delivery would be ideal delivery option.” “I’d pay for evening deliveries because I work.” “Best time for latest delivery depends on what it is that they’re buying. Clothes need to come in time to go out same evening, homewares not so much.”
- Cybertill findings: 44% want real-time stock availability, 32% said they would use self-service payment apps in store. Only 14% wanted technology that would recognise them as a customer.
- What in-store technology have you used/would you use? What bit of tech do you see in the retail store of the future.
- One panellist had visited a New York store where they could find stock and pay online, but staff were there to help. “The tech wasn’t a barrier but enabling staff to be more self-sufficient.” Another had paid using mobile point of sale. “I really liked it, it was in and out, and quick but still with a human reaction.” “If I could order the next item from a changing room, rather than having to queue again…” “The idea of shop and pay as I walk around, leave items, rather than carrying them all with me.” “Self-service in any shop.” “Want to see what a dress is like in another store, instant price comparisons in different stores.” “E-receipts”