Gen Z prefers shopping in a store, and use their mobile devices for research.

When it comes to shopping for apparel, Gen Z’s off-line spend of $155 per purchase is nearly the same as the online spend of $164. That’s compared with an online consumer electronics spend of $182 versus $125 for off-line, and an online toys/games/sporting goods spend of $124 versus $94 off-line.

According to a study from Criteo, Generation Z spends more time on their mobile devices than any other generation. Thirty-two percent of all transactions take place on a mobile device, and — not counting work and e-mail — they average 11 hours of online access each week via mobile and a little more than nine hours of online access each week via a desktop device. Further, they stream more content from TV shows and online videos to music and podcasts than their older generations. Fifty-two percent access Snapchat multiple times a day, compared with 52 percent for Instagram, 55 percent for Facebook and just 23 percent for Twitter.

This Instagram generation lives by visuals and expects their retailers to make the store display “cool, show how products are used and feature them in their best light. They have to be desirable, accessible and touchable.” And because the Gen Z crowd craves novelty and experience, online-only retailers can garner market share by entering the world of bricks-and-mortar. The study found that 67 percent of Gen Z consumers use their phones in-store to research purchases they are considering, while 65 percent don’t like to buy new things unless they can “touch the items.” Further, 71 percent enjoy shopping in stores to understand what’s in style, Criteo said, with 80 percent saying they like to try new stores.

Retailers and brands that embody Gen Z values offer personalized experience, limited-edition merchandise, unique products, good-looking stores and authentic brand stories. About 42 percent said great store design matters, while 40 percent cite more unique merchandise as important. Also, 36 percent said they wanted better ways to try on product, while 34 percent said displays showing product use as important.

The study said 34 percent said they are “webrooming” by researching online and buying in-store, whereas 18 percent said they are showrooming, or seeing it in a store and them buying it off-line.

More importantly, Gen Z likes the hunt factor, particularly for health and beauty products. Fifty-one percent said they compare products within a site, 30 percent regularly visit multiple web sites, and 28 percent put items in a cart without purchasing right away.

Further, 38 percent find it difficult to find what they need or love online, while 35 percent don’t feel comfortable making purchases online.

On the e-commerce side, 62 percent of shoppers said sites can improve their conversion with more discounts, while 58 percent prefer free returns. Also, 62 percent said they like ads they see on other sites for things they like shopping for if they got a discount.


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