Gen Z and physical store anxiety

Gen Z and physical store anxiety

How does generation Z* like to shop in physical stores? Not very much. At least according to a new study about how young consumers prefer to shop. But the physical store also beats e-commerce in some areas. This is reported by M-cube, a company that works with in-store digital engagement, after conducting a study among consumers aged 18-24 in the UK.

Almost half, 47 percent, in the age group feel more anxious when shopping in brick-and-mortar stores now compared to before the pandemic. But not only that – 49 percent say they always feel uncomfortable when shopping in stores with walls and ceilings. 48 percent also don’t like to talk to staff in stores, they would prefer if there were digital aids that could guide them in the right direction.

When the respondents were asked to answer how they like to shop, 55 percent said they preferred to do their shopping online. Among those who preferred that channel, 71 percent answered that they did so because it was faster and easier to find things compared to physical stores. Almost as many indicated the convenience of being able to shop anytime and anywhere.

Those who were more likely to shop in brick-and-mortar stores chose this way because they could get the product immediately, and because they could see and feel the goods before buying.

Finally, 60 percent of the respondents stated that physical stores have significant potential for improvement. Above all in terms of stores becoming places more for social gatherings, that stores should provide better access to information – for instance via QR codes – and that they had to shape up when it comes to music and lighting.

Now, this is a limited study and the results should perhaps be interpreted with some caution. But we can probably be pretty sure that both brick-and-mortar stores and e-tailers should prepare for the fact that this particular generation can be quite challenging as consumers in the future.

*Generation Z is usually defined as people born between years 1997 and 2009.

Olof Källgren, Market Information Manager, Direct Link