Skip to main content

Study: Want to engage Gen Z? Here’s how


Shoppers age 14-19, known as “Gen Z,” are not as hard to reach as some retailers think.

According to a new survey of more than 2,000 U.S. Gen Z consumers from retail marketing firm Interactions, “The Next Generation of Retail,” although Gen Z is one of the most digitally-savvy generations, 64% prefer shopping in-store more than online. Three-quarters of respondents also prefer to shop at retailers that provide an engaging in-store experience. When it comes to a satisfying in-store experience, the top three components Gen Z looks for are a clean store, friendly and knowledgeable associates and a positive checkout experience.

Looking at the impact of cyberbreaches, the survey finds that 78% of respondents trust that retailers will keep their personal information safe. However, 59% avoid shopping at retailers that have been hit by security breaches in the past.

Gen Z grew up with social media, so it’s not surprising that almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents expect retailers to have a social media presence and 60% prefer to shop at retailers that engage with them via social media. Eighty-two percent of respondents state that the opinions of others on social media have influenced them to shop at a retailer they’ve never shopped at before.

When it comes to what this generation is sharing on social media as it relates to shopping, 65% said they’re most likely to share a product’s quality, followed by positive customer service (46%). Despite reports younger consumers shun Facebook, respondents use Facebook the most out of any social media site to research products before shopping (43%), engage with retailers or brands (43%) and post information about their shopping experience (42%).

However, text messaging is Gen Z’s most preferred method for communicating with retailers and brands, yet only 19% of respondents say they currently discover new products via text notifications from retailers.

In addition, three-quarters of respondents check a store’s app when they’re shopping for special offers before making a final purchase, and 75% would rather shop at a retailer that accepts mobile payments over one that doesn’t.

Other notable findings include:

· Eighty-nine percent of respondents say they are very price-conscious.

· Sixty-four percent of respondents prefer to pay with cash rather than credit or debit cards.

· Eighty-one percent of respondents are willing to switch from their favorite brand if they find a similar product at higher quality.

· Eighty percent of respondents are willing to sign up for loyalty cards in exchange for deals/discounts.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds