A recent study by IBM and the National Retail Federation revealed that the majority of Generation Z prefers to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, the organizations said.
Generation Z is comprised of individuals born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s. The study is based on findings from more than 15,000 consumers ages 13-21 from 16 countries.
This group does not know a world before cell phones and other digital devices, yet 67% of respondents shop in brick-and-mortar stores “most of the time,” while another 31% shop in-store “sometimes.” So 98% of Generation Z shop in-store.
This generation has $44 billion in buying power, and the study revealed that 75% spend more than half of the money that is available to them each month. Yet, unlike previous generations, Generation Z has a great amount of influence over what items their parents buy — from groceries to big-ticket items such as furniture, said Mark Mathews, vice president of research development and industry analysis for the NRF.
“Ninety-three percent of household spending is influenced by Generation Z,” Mathews said. “While they may not be paying the bills, they’re definitely influencing the decisions.”
Members of Generation Z also will inevitably age. And the movement into adulthood, with all the typical complications thereof (marriage, children, limited time, etc…), may set the stage for a shift from in-store to online buying preferences. But Mathews doesn’t see that shift happening down the line.
“What we know about this generation is that they are very much into the individual aspects of shopping,” Mathews said. “They enjoy the thrill of the hunt — looking for new, unique, individual products. That’s one of the reasons that they enjoy shopping, apart from the social aspect. I see no reason why this would change going into the future.”