White paper: Meet Gen Z, the future power shoppers

New research from Adyen suggests Gen Z is the most tech-savvy buying group yet.

For years, the world has been focused on the buying habits of Millennials, especially in retail.

But a newer demographic group -- Generation Z -- is actually poised to cause the next big shift in how we shop.

At Adyen, we surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. consumers to examine the shopping habits, expectations, hopes and fears of this impactful generational group. We know brick and mortar isn’t dead. But Generation Z is the most tech-savvy set of buyers yet. What do retailers need to know to prepare for the next wave of shoppers?

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Social media = IRL

Gen Z has grown up entirely in the digital age. Millennials are now between 23 and 37, but Gen Zers are between ages 13 and 22. This means they know the internet only as a high-speed connection and never had to endure dial-up modems; their idea of a phone has always been mobile. As they have come of age in this connected world, three out of four Gen Zers spend most of their free time online, and to many, social media is deeply engrained in everyday life.

This is important to retailers for a few reasons. First, what Gen Z sees on social media impacts purchasing decisions. For example, 41 percent of Gen Zers said they have been influenced by Facebook ads. Thirty percent have been influenced by YouTube videos, and 26 percent said they had been influenced by Instagram.

What Gen Z wants

Gen Z shoppers need good reasons to go to a physical store. Sixty six percent of Gen Z shoppers said they would visit a store more if they could check if an item they wanted was in stock beforehand. And once they’re in the store, Gen Zers would opt to pick up the items they need and have the store automatically charge their account. More than a quarter (39 percent) of Gen Z shoppers hope that this “just walk out” technology is ubiquitous in the next 12 months.

Showrooming is also a trend that clicks with Gen Z. Savvy retailers are already embracing the practice of providing physical space for consumers to examine products before they buy them online. But Gen Z shopping preferences should provide even more urgency to do so. Approximately one in three Gen Zers want showrooms to be commonplace within the next 12 months, a reflection of their need for a purpose to go into a store and the blended retail experience they desire. Retailers that cater to these preferences will reap the dividends: showrooms represent a massive opportunity that has the potential to drive 50 percent more shopping.

To learn more about what Gen Z shoppers want (and what they don’t) download our exclusive white paper, which guides you through the new research.