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How to make online Gen Z shoppers happy

Gen Z consumers have a positive view of AI-enabled shopping.

A new survey reveals e-commerce preferences – and turn-offs – of Gen Z consumers.

Almost nine in 10 (88%) respondents think artificial intelligence (AI) can improve online shopping, and more than half (55%) interested in an AI assistant that would simplify product discovery and anticipating their needs and desires, according to a survey of global Gen Z shoppers from e-commerce technology Rokt.

When asked to name the most important thing they are interested in when shopping online, 55% of respondents cited curated deals from their favorite influencers and content creators. Almost two in three (63%) respondents say that, due to inflation, they now spend more time online searching for lower prices, relevant deals and offers.

When shopping experiences don't feel personalized, 20%–29% of respondents said they will walk away from their cart, the brand, or the experience. In addition, slightly more than half (51%) of respondents say they are interested in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) shopping experiences.

Checkout frustrates Gen Z shoppers

The survey found online checkout is often an issue for respondents, especially those in the U.S.:

  • Among U.S. survey respondents, 73% said they often experience some form of frustration or barrier at checkout, including too many ads at checkout (34%), having to log in/make an account (33%), or irrelevant ads and product recommendations (33%).
  • When encountering a frustrating checkout experience, 40% of U.S. respondents have reconsidered their purchase or removed items from their cart, 37% have abandoned their cart and not returned to it, and 22% say that kind of experience has lowered their perception of the brand.
  • Among global respondents, 73% agree that "it's satisfying when I find something I needed last-minute while checking out."
  • Two in three (67%) global respondents agreed that they "enjoy the feeling of adding a little something extra to my online shopping cart when I'm checking out."

Global respondents identify the top five ways AI will improve online shopping:

  • Compare prices (47%)
  • Find deals (45%)
  • Receive relevant offers and product suggestions (41%)
  • Receive personalized assistance (37%)
  • Find reviews (28%)

[Read more: Gen Z prefers this type of online content]

This survey was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Rokt from May 1 to May 15, 2023. Survey respondents consisted of 6,023 consumers ages 18-78 across the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, and Japan.

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