- A new study by IBM and the National Retail Federation reveals that almost all members of Generation Z prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores than online, according to Grocery Headquarters.
- Still, with the global Generation Z population set to increase to 2.6 billion in the next few years, retailers should create new ways to bring interactive engagement around their brands — especially since members of that generation still expect to engage with brands online.
- "They appreciate the hands-on experience of shopping in a store. With technology constantly evolving but some shopping habits remaining the same, retailers need to be agile enough to serve both needs," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.
Numbers continue to show that online grocery is gaining steam. In fact, data from the Prosper Insights & Analytics’ November 2016 survey reveals 7.7% of U.S. consumers shopped for groceries online in November, up from 5.7% two years ago. Similar growth is expected for December of 2016.
Because Generation Z — commonly referred to as those born in 1996 and afterward — is the first segment of the population to grow up with smartphones, it would make sense for most of them to prefer online grocery shopping. However, research continues to show that this is not the case. Just as the joint IBM/NRF survey revealed, almost 98% of them shop in-store.
Still, in order to keep this age group engaged, retailers need to find ways to make their stores more convenient. More than half of all those surveyed said they would transfer to another store with more to offer.
The concept behind Amazon Go is one example of a retailer making things easier for the consumer, with its lack of checkouts and lines.
Other innovations and apps are making the in-store experience more beneficial. Target’s Cartwheel app was first introduced in 2013 as a way to provide shoppers with special offers, bringing in more consumers into the store, according to executives. Kroger’s QueVision technology has helped the store gain ground on the competition, and Wal-Mart has recently reintroduced its Scan and Go self-scanning app to speed up the check out process for shoppers.