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Gen Z and millennials have more complex path to purchase

Female mobile shopper
Gen Z and millennial shoppers are more likely to use digital resources.

Retailers targeting customers under 40 need to offer a robust omnichannel experience.

According to the Verint Experience Index for Retail Report 2022, fewer than 36% of surveyed Gen Z and millennial consumers under 40 prefer to visit stores when interacting with retailers, compared to more than two-thirds of surveyed boomer shoppers 57 and older.

 In addition, the survey reveals that Gen Z and millennials have more complex purchase journeys, with over 75% of these respondents using at least one other digital resource – such as ratings websites, influencers, and social media – to help inform their purchasing decision.

The survey also shows that Gen Z and millennial respondents do place a value in the retail store in their path to purchase, seeing its utility as a click-and-collect depot for merchandise. While only 28% of these respondents make purchases via the retailer’s website or app, 51% make purchases either via buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) or via curbside pick-up.

Respondents under 40 are also more concerned with retailers’ environmental practices than respondents in other age groups, rating eco-friendly packaging at least 15 percentage points higher than Gen X and boomer respondents.

Of the biggest 25 U.S. retailers, Amazon, Publix and Costco top Verint’s customer satisfaction rankings, with Costco, Aldi and Lowe’s topping the Net Promoter Score (NPS) rankings. However, Verint researchers found that the average NPS rating for the top 25 retailers fell by more than five percentage points over the past year, to 37.1.

The survey also found that younger customers were more likely to experience difficulties completing a task during their first interactions with retailers. Forty-four percent of Gen Z respondents and 43% of millennial respondents said they had expended more effort than expected to complete an interaction. Verint analysis indicates these results may indicate that younger generations have higher expectations for digital experiences.

[Read more: What influences Gen Z path to purchase?]

“Since Gen Z is the age group most likely to use digital solutions for some, or all, of their purchases, retailers need to ensure their digital experience provides a wide range of suitable products, with seamless purchase processes, to stand the best chance of retaining their business,” said Jenni Palocsik, VP, marketing insights, experience and enablement for Verint.

“Gen Z are by no means the only demographic that brands should focus on to adapt and enhance the customer journey, but since they are most likely to engage digitally, seamless experiences are the biggest drivers of better customer satisfaction, NPS and repeat business,” said Palocsik.

The Verint Experience Index for Retail Report 2022 ranks the omnichannel experiences of the top 25 largest retailers in the U.S. based on revenue as determined by National Retail Federation (not including quick service restaurants). The Index features a panel sample of 6,648 respondents in total, with at least 250-275 responses per brand. Responses were collected from Nov. 23-30, 2021.

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