Generation Z: The “iGeneration” is still frequenting brick and mortar stores. This is how you keep them there.

We have previously written about Millennials and their strong support of brick and mortar retail, especially when compared to older generations. As a generation that is considered “digitally obsessed,” Millennials’ preferences for brick and mortar shopping may seem unexpected—but, perhaps even more surprising is the preferences of the next generation: Generation Z.

Also referred to as the “iGeneration,” Gen Z will begin to come into more buying power over the next few years as they start to enter the workforce. With numbers at around 75 million, it is important for retailers to understand this ever-important demographic that has grown up with mobile technology at their fingertips.

As of 2017, as much as 98% of Gen Z is reporting that they still shop in physical stores. They are actually more likely to shop in malls than older generations. While this is partially due to more free time for shopping and less financial independence in the immediate term, retailers have the ability to maintain loyalty from these young shoppers as they age into adulthood.

Growing up with social media and mobile devices, Gen Z demands a certain level of connectedness from their experiences. In stores, this means offering digitally connected experiences on mobile devices that will enhance the shopping experience, either by making it easier for the shopper or, simply, more fun. Provided that the experience is personalized, Gen Z is nearly twice as likely to convert from a digital experience than any other demographic. They view content more and bounce less.

Connectedness also means a connection between shopping channels. While this tech-savvy generation will shop in brick and mortar stores, they still spend a significant amount of time browsing online. A recent study found that 91% of female Gen Zers browse online before buying in a physical store and 85% of the same group report do the reverse, browsing in-store and buying online. A well executed omnichannel shopping experience is critical in continuing to reach Gen Z and make them regular shoppers as they age. The ability to buy a product online and pick up in store, or at least see online and find in store, will only become more important moving forward.

Reaching consumers via their mobile device in-store is a significant opportunity to provide Gen Z with what they’re looking for in a retail experience. Whether it’s delivering personalized content and offers in-aisle, or presenting a streamlined BOPIS experience, mobile is going to be a key factor in maintaining Gen Z loyalty as they continue to age into more buying power.

Leading national retailers are already implementing these kinds of campaigns with Swirl’s Mobile Presence Marketing Platform—and they’re seeing significant results like increased store traffic and basket size. To learn more about Swirl’s platform and how it can help you better engage and influence your in-store shoppers, contact us here.


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