Gen Z Yet to Form Strong Retail Store Loyalties

March 15, 2017

This article is included in these additional categories:

Brand Loyalty & Purchase Habits | Retail & E-Commerce | Social Media | Teens & Younger | Youth & Gen X

Gen Z (18-20) consumers are less likely than older Millennials (28-37) to be loyal to a single store across a few retail categories, including for health and beauty items (19% of Gen Z vs. 34% of older Millennials), groceries (39% of Gen Z vs. 55% of older Millennials) and clothing/fashion (16% of Gen Z vs. 26% older Millennials). That’s according to an Accenture survey of almost 10,000 adults aged 18-37 across 13 countries.

The results indicate that Gen Z respondents in the US are even less likely to have developed an affinity for clothing stores: just 5% of 18-20-year-olds in the US shop at a single destination for clothing.

Gen Z shoppers are open to new shopping methods, per the study. Nearly three-quarters report being interested in curated subscription-type experiences for fashion purchases (73%) and automatic-replenishment programs (71%), with a majority willing to switch a majority of their purchases to a retailer who offered this service. Gen Z respondents were also open about trying voice-activated ordering, with 25% reporting that they can’t wait to use it and 10% saying they are already using it. A separate report finds similar sentiments among Millennials, who say they are receptive to buying brands via chatbots.

Social media could soon become a major player for Gen Z as well, with more than two-thirds of the age group surveyed (69%) saying that they would be interested in purchasing directly through social media. That would stand in contrast to the prevailing sentiment found in other research, which has suggested that fewer than 1 in 5 adults have made a purchase directly from a social media site.

Meanwhile, 44% of Gen Z respondents also said that social media is a source for product inspiration, and more than a third have increasingly turned to social media for purchase decision-making in the last year. Recent research has found that social is a source of product awareness for a large majority of Gen Z respondents.

While they may be more open to new shopping styles and methods, most Gen Z shoppers (60%) still prefer to make purchases in store – a figure that rises to 77% among respondents in the US. That result adds to a growing body of research suggesting that stores remains the preferred shopping destination for this young group.

About the Data: Accenture surveyed 9,750 respondents from 13 countries across 6 continents who have shopped both online and in store within the 3 months prior to the survey. Respondents belonged to one of three age groups: Gen Z (18-20), young Millennials (21-27) and older Millennials (28-37 years), with each of the 3 age groups accounting for approximately one-third of all respondents.


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