NRF: Gen Z Favors Shopping In-Store

Despite growing up in the digital age, 98 percent of Generation Z prefers to shop in brick-and-mortar retail locations, according to a new study from IBM and the National Retail Federation.

April 6, 2018

NRF: Gen Z Favors Shopping In-Store

Study also found that 75 percent of Gen Z spend more than half of the money available to them each month.


The "Uniquely Gen Z" study, conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value, is based on findings from more than 15,000 consumers, ages 13 to 21, from 16 countries.

According to the study, 67 percent of Generation Z consumers shop in brick-and-mortar stores most of the time, with another 31 percent shopping in-store sometimes-indicating that 98 percent of the generation shop in-store at least part of the time.

However, it also found that 74 percent of respondents spend their free time online, with 25 percent of participants online five hours or more each day. Additionally, Generation Z consumers reported that they like to engage with brands online, especially with those that create interactive environments where customers can shape their own experience.

"Just as Millennials overtook Gen X, there's another

big buying group retailers need to plan for, and it's even larger: Generation Z," says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. "They appreciate the hands-on experience of shopping in a store. With technology constantly evolving but some shopping habits remaining the same, retailers need to be agile enough to serve both needs. Retailers are constantly focused on experimenting with new innovations both online and in-store to remain relevant to evolving consumer demand."

The study also unveiled insights into the upcoming generation's preferences and digital habits that brands can leverage, including:

  • 75 percent say they spend more than half of the money that is available to them each month.

    • 52 percent of Gen Z consumers will transfer loyalty from one brand to another if the brand's quality is not up to par.

      • 66 percent say product quality and availability are the most important factors when choosing a brand and 65 percent focus on value.

        • 73 percent of Gen Z use their phones to text and chat with family and friends, but are willing to extend their conversations to brand relationships.

          • 36 percent would create digital content for a brand.

            • 42 percent would participate in an online game for a campaign.

              • 43 percent would participate in a product review.

                • 62 percent will not use apps or websites that are difficult navigate while 60 percent will not use apps or websites that are too slow.

                  • Less than 30 percent are willing to share health and wellness, location, personal life or payment information; however, 61 percent reported they would feel better sharing personal information if they knew it would be securely stored and protected.

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