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Generation Z’s Shopping Habits

A new wave of consumers is expected to take over the market by 2020. These consumers are known as Generation Z. Born between the years 1995 and 2012, with the oldest being currently at the age of 23. The generational differences in upbringing are becoming evident in their shopping habits.

Technology is a game changer for this generation, for technology is a big part of Generation Z’s identity. Despite this generation growing up in a world of internet and social media they also appreciate the retail experience of shopping in-store.

In fact, Generation Z prefers shopping in store according to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Although Generation Z claims to prefer shopping in store 47 percent say they participate in both online and in-store shopping according to Adweek’sstatistics. This is surprising considering the convenience that ordering online can provide.

There are a few things however that shopping in person can offer that online shopping can’t. Such as trying out the product in-store and in-store discounts. In addition, malls also provide a social aspect for teenagers and a bonding opportunity to build with friends. Generation Z is also drawn to an interactive retail space, which gives an inviting feel that is especially appealing to them.

Shockingly, these digital natives have more patience in terms of online shopping unlike some commonly preconceived notions portray them. They are also not as tempted to pay more for a faster delivery. 47 percent of those surveyed by Adweek claimed that they were willing to wait 5-7 days for a package. Free shipping was an impactful factor on their purchases. On the other hand, 58% of those surveyed by Accenture claimed that they would pay more than $5 for one-hour deliveries.

Social media influencers have a big impact on the shopping habits of the generation. Joe Cardador, Ph.D., VP of consumer intelligence at Barkley explains on Forbes that this generation is more trusting of influencers online and are more concerned about product reviews. Recommendation by a social media influencer gives a less commercial, and more sincere outreach to the public that registers more with them. This approval given by influencers is comparable to a friend making a recommendation. Generation Z claims they will pay more money for products if it will help them develop an image they want to display. This may relate to seeing social media influencers using these products and services in an ideal lifestyle.

To adapt to these new consumers' needs companies should differentiate the motives of shopping in-store and online for this generation.

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