The decade of another buzzword – Millenials is coming to an end and opens up the gateway for the brands to start capturing the attention of the new kid on the block – Gen Z. Unlike the previous generations, they have much less in common with the ancestors than Millenials.
What wins their attention, over i.e. Amazon’s ‘Same day delivery’ is a focus on branding, social media image and the proximity to their style of living. Unlike any of their ancestors, Gen Z’ don’t care too much over the whole ‘Try before you buy’ concept.
A funny thing is that they become influencers in their closest circle of older generations. Simply put their parents value their opinion in certain segments very high.
This happens not only when the parents need assistance in purchasing decision, more and more frequently we can see Gen Z participating in product purchase from the start. NPF’s research highlights that more than 85% of parents ask their kids advice during the product research stage.
The difference between the neighboring generations doesn’t end here and Gen Z is much more engaged when it comes to making purchases on new platforms, as long as the brand they are following is present there. They even aren’t squeamish when it comes to Ads.
Omnichannel retailing – definition
If you haven’t seen our blog on Omnichannel shopping patterns that explains all the basics, here’s the difference between multichannel and omnichannel shopping and a short conclusion, so we can talk about omnichannel strategy using the same language:
Multichannel – is selling your products through various online sources such as personal online shop, marketplaces and social media channels.
Omnichannel – is utilizing multiple online channels, as well as having a physical presence.
At Cudato, we crave omnichannel and feel that it’s a great way to create a connected customer experience, unlike traditional marketing where each channel is optimized without minding the complete picture.
Up to date, there are still pieces of the puzzle missing and we don’t know how and why customers make purchases the way they do. The only thing we know for sure is that consumers never shop through a single channel, regardless of their generation.
WHERE DO THEY SHOP ONLINE?
Social media takes up more time of Gen Z than of any other older generation. Platforms that lead are Instagram and Snapchat with Ebay landing on a 3rd place.
You can notice a rather worrying (at least for brick and mortar shop owners) percentage – 9.5% of Gen Z’s that made a purchase in a physical store. An interesting fact is that unlike Millennials Gen Z’s don’t trust Facebook.
Overall, you can notice a generation split in the shopping preference today, with a younger generations tilt towards online, and older generation towards brick and mortar.
It’s worth noticing that despite shopping preferences, customers of any age highly value comfort and convenience. Having a product ordered and timely delivered is one thing, but sustaining a great human relationship with their favorite brands is brings the customer experience to a whole new level.
WHY BUY FROM BRANDS PERSONAL WEBSITE?
This one is by far the easiest one to remember since regardless of generation everybody highlighted that free delivery, convenience and cost are the main factors why they buy from brands personal website.
WHY BUY FROM MARKETPLACES? (Amazon, Tmall, eBay)
Two top reasons for this are Cost and convenience of having thousands of suppliers in one place. However, a noticeable amount of Millenials and Gen Z’s mentioned the only reason to buy on Amazon is Prime Day.
WHY BUY FROM BRICK AND MORTAR?
No matter how tempting the price is and how fast the online store delivery is, nothing beats the good old ability to touch and feel a product. Which is still the main reason why people visit physical stores in the world!
Despite a lot of loud talks about how dead brick and mortar is, numbers still show that consumers are split in half in their shopping preferences
Since the early beginnings of e-commerce, it’s biggest challenges were paying money for something you haven’t touched and filling-in detailed shipping and payment forms.
With the youngest generation growing older, we can see another challenge appearing – waiting time (20%), the main stopping block in e-commerce for them. As far as other demographic groups go – their biggest objection is not having the ability to try the product before ordering and having to rely on subjective user reviews.
HOW DO WE PAY ONLINE?
No surprises here – a credit card is still a king and holds the lead in big online orders. But! If take a look at the chart below, Millennials and Z’s to be more precise, we can see more mobile wallets being used twice as much as by older generations.
It’s fascinating how much younger generations fearlessly agree to purchase from new businesses via alternative payment methods such as Venmo and MoneyMailMe. This is especially popular among new Instagram-only businesses that focus on young customers that don’t worry about traditional security issues. Seniors don’t mind paying a middleman in a face of (eBay or Amazon) for a sake of feeling secure.
ONLINE FINANCE OPTIONS
In 2018 we can see online credit companies such as AfterPay gaining online traction across Gen Z and Millenials, that report spending more than initially planned if online finance options are available. Seniors report not using online finance that much (30%).
If you’re dealing with younger audiences, remember, they spend a lot of time online looking for bargains, which can be a great way to capture their email for future up-sells.
E-COMMERCE RETURN RATE
As usual, the highest product return rate is noticed among the Gen Z and this rate declines for every previous generation. Our data shows that younger groups are much more sensitive to a product cost which can be the reason for high return rates. As other possible return reason we can highlight these:
- Delayed deliveries, since youngers are more impatient and ready to go and buy an item in a physical store in case their order wasn’t delivered timely.
- Ordering the different products with a direct intention to make a return
Anyways, returns are not a reason for panic. It’s apart of customer experience and requires further investigation and optimization. Here are some other factors that can lead to repeated purchases and when combined can create a great customer journey:
- Order fulfillment speed
- Shipping quality
- Unboxing experience
- Ease of returns
BRICK AND MORTAR RETURN RATE
A retail store unites generations when it comes to searching for a product online and then coming to a store to get a physical feel and possibly buy a product. This way retail stores accompany webshops in a perfect harmony. Retailers indicated a rise in sales due to customers being already educated about a product before coming into the store. As far as returns go, younger groups are two times more likely to return an item they bought online to a brands physical store than the elders.
Interesting is the fact that 30% of customers of any generation are going to make a repeated purchase during the return of a product to a retail store.
This customer reports should help you with the construction of your omnichannel strategy, but the way you implement it is the main ingredient of success. In order to achieve the highest customer satisfaction rating, each touchpoint you make with your customers should be perfect.
Here’s the list of steps you should follow to build a great omnichannel customer experience:
- Make User Experience your number 1 priority
- Acquire data by tracking conversions
- Tweak your messaging to align with target audience
- Pay attention to a diversity of devices used by your customers
- Experiment with new technology
*The data displayed in this report comes from NRF and PWC’s surveys and with nearly 7000 shoppers surveyed.