Despite the fact that Gen Z has grown up on digital, that’s not their preferred way to shop, they like visiting your brick-and-mortar and they love to interact with brands in person. To Gen Z, brick-and-mortar businesses are not dead. Young consumers are known to shell out their cash for an experience rather than just a new product. As a money-conscious generation, experiences reach beyond expensive concerts and vacations. They want to enjoy experiences in everyday life.
According to a 2017 survey by Accenture, “77 percent of Gen Z respondents in the U.S. said that shopping at brick-and-mortar stores is their preferred channel.” In the same study, 46 percent of Gen Z consumers said they get their information in-store before making an online purchase. The data proves further that young shoppers want to spend time with brands in person, regardless of their penchant for favoring online interaction.
And, because they are socially minded, their support for small business is good news for brick-and-mortar owners—especially if you want to make a COVID-19 comeback. An April 2020 consumer survey showed 48 percent of respondents under 45 said they trust retailers with physical locations more since the beginning of quarantine. Gen Z consumers are loyal to brick-and-mortar businesses that are transparent about the safety measures they’re taking, like curbside pickup and taking contactless payments.
Gen Zers want to feel like they’re a part of a community that supports the causes they care about. For this reason, they love to shop small. Bigger brands can adapt to this mindset by “popping up,” giving their larger operation a smaller feel. Gen Z is also into supporting brands they can relate to. That’s why you’ll see more and more retailers—big and small—sharing stories through channels like blogging and via social media.