According to ESW’s Global Voices: Q2 2022 survey, a large majority of Millennial (60 percent) and Gen Z (63 percent) shoppers have a clear preference for shopping through direct-to-consumer channels over large marketplace platforms, with 73 percent of Millennials and 69 percent of Gen Zers finding they enjoy the more personalized experience that includes offers and promotions targeted to specific preferences.
In contrast, only 63 percent of Gen X consumers and just half of Baby Boomers felt the same.
At the same time, social media was determined to be the key driver for product discovery with in-store shopping ranked third. Among younger Gen Z consumers the top three social media platforms were revealed to be Instagram at 52 percent), YouTube at 51 percent and TikTok at 43 percent. Only 34 percent of Gen Z consumers reported using Facebook, revealing it as a less important platform of discovery for the generation while for Millennials TikTok was the least important platform with just 32 percent using it for product discovery.
The findings, said the authors of the report, serve to highlight the importance of an omnichannel strategy.
“Younger consumers’ shopping preferences indicate that retailers and brands must adopt a robust direct-to-consumer e-commerce and content strategy in order to remain competitive in the future,” said Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, president and chief executive officer at ESW Americas. “Our data reveals that 78 percent of Millennials and 74 percent of Gen Zers enjoy a greater experience when shopping on a brands’ own website, while only 69 percent of Gen X and 60 percent of Baby Boomers feel the same.”
Notably, the survey found that Gen Z and Millennial consumers have a higher degree of trust for online retailers located outside of their home country. The trust was 30 percent higher than Gen X and twice that of Baby Boomers. These younger generations shop across borders twice as often as Gen X and three times that of Baby Boomers.
Still, 54 percent of Gen Zers and 56 percent of Millennials feel that it is irrelevant whether an online retailer is located overseas. More than a quarter of all consumers said the reason they shop across borders is because the desired product was unavailable through a local retailer.
Across all generations surveyed (Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers), consumers say they will reduce online shopping by about 30 percent over the next year, citing inflation and other economic concerns.
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