Online retail sales are booming, but brick and mortar stores shouldn’t just start giving up and closing all their stores; 94% of retail purchases are still made within physical store locations.
Today, the saturation of the Internet and smartphones among consumers has changed the retail and food shopping landscape-both in-store and online-leaving retailers at a stand still trying to decide whether to invest in brick and mortar stores or online retailing. Even though the widespread adoption of technology has helped foster a popular trend in the online retailing sector, the newest and tech savviest generation, Centennials (Generation Z) or those born after 1995, still prefers the in-store shopping experience.
Why retailers feared brick and mortar shopping would become a thing of the past:
67% of millennials prefer to shop online, compared to the 56% of Gen Xers or only 41% of Baby Boomers who would even consider making an online purchase. If this trend were to continue, then brick and mortar stores would eventually be facing a drastic downturn in physical store sales. However, things took an unexpected turn with the rise of the new Generation Z shopper and should make retailers reconsider giving up on the brick and mortar industry.
Brick-and-Mortar stores aren’t going anywhere as long as Generation Z has anything to say about it!
A new 2017 study found that 66% of Centennial shoppers prefer shopping in store to online, because they like to see, hold, and try on products before they buy them. Additionally 28% value the possibility to interact with store associates. Even though Gen Z shoppers have been more reliant upon technology from an even younger age than millennials, they are taking a different stance on integrating it into their shopping experience. Gen Z shoppers see the Internet and their devices as a tool to enhance their in store shopping experience rather than a tool to replace it.
When asked how stores could use smartphone features to enhance the overall in store shopping experience,44% of Centennial shoppers said stores should use features that provide the best deals and most savings.An additional 36% believe that retailers should use smartphone technology to allow them to quickly access their loyalty program information while in store. With 22% of consumers spending more in-store when digital channels are involved, successfully integrating technology into your in-store shopping experience can have an astounding influence on your bottom line.
When you design a collaborative in store and online shopping experience, Gen Z is more willing to make the journey to shop in your store and spend more money once they are there!
Gen Z accounts for 25.9% of the population, that is the largest population demographic out there. They are a massive up-and-coming buying force and their trend towards in store shopping is something you should take note of. It is up to you, the retailer, to reach out to these young consumers and capture them at a young age.
Local SEO and Reputation Management will drive tech savvy Gen Z shoppers into your store.
Generation Z is more willing to shop in store, but how do you get them-and the rest of the consumers looking for an in store experience-to actually find your business in the first place? Thinking about how today’s customer looks for a business, 4 in every 5 shoppers turn to search engines to find local store information and 3 out of every 4 shoppers who find that online information useful are then more likely to visit your store. That means in order to even have a chance at converting Gen Z shoppers into customers, businesses need to show up in the top search results on sites like Google and Yelp; without that, your business is as good as invisible to them and the rest of consumers looking to shop in store. (Click HERE and learn how to improve your businesses local search rankings!)
Once you get your business’ listing in front of consumers on local search and review sites, it is all about communicating quality. A recent study found that 70% of Gen Z shoppers say that quality is more important to them than price. How do they determine quality? Reviews! Reviews are an expected aspect of the shopping experience with 95% of Centennials searching and reading reviews to enhance and validate their decisions. This study found that reviews are more important to Centennials than a brand name, or perks such as free shipping.
Reviews are important to Generation Z when making a purchase decision, but don’t stop there! The same study found that 40% of Centennials will not make a purchase from a business if there are no photos of the business or people using the product. Photos are becoming a huge aspect of the consumer decision making process.
Generation Z has grown up in a constantly connected world, never knowing a life without smartphones and mobile devices. However, rather than using their technological know-how to go remote and completely bypass physical stores, Centennials are using smartphones and technology as a tool for finding new stores and enhancing their overall in store experience. Schedule a FREE demo and see how Chatmeter can help you take advantage of the new Gen Z shopping trend by improving your local search rankings and equipping you with the best tools to manage every aspect of your online reputation!