June 22, 2018

Instagram to InstaGrat – Gen Z Myth?

Gen Z shoppers, defined in many corners as age 23 and under, want instant gratification — they want everything now!

Or do they? A recent study suggests THAT definition from many corners may be off.

A survey from Fluent Commerce found 47% of Gen Z respondents are willing to wait up to 7 days for a package. And 73% are willing to ‘buy’ the old fashioned way – get in the car and drive to a store.  

Before you assume these shoppers are more patient than others, consider this often obscured factor: Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers don’t necessarily have enough money to hit restaurants or partake in expensive social outings. But going to the mall is free, convenient, and something to do with friends.

Not to mention, 53% of respondents say they’d rather drive to the store for pickup than pay any type of dreaded shipping fee.

What does this mean for marketers? There may be an evolving ‘in-store’ trend to tap into. In fact, the survey also showed that 66% of these young shoppers expect retailers to have a “same-day” pickup option. Turns out Gen Z craves the same immediacy of previous generations — and even with a “free shipping” option they’d rather have the social interaction of driving to the store to pick it up.   

Maybe mall-ratting of decades ago never totally went away. Or at least the ability to get the heck out of your parent’s place in search of one’s own ‘errand’ has decent appeal.

At a time when retailers are pushing for faster delivery times, especially stores with young customers, their efforts might be reaching into a void. And perhaps the ‘socializing’ aspect of retail is worth a re-look.  

To that end, one thing AdWeek and Fluent Commerce didn’t take into account is the fact that some of Gen Z isn’t old enough to have a license or at least have their own car. Maybe as these consumers grow and have to pay for gas, free shipping will look more appealing than another trip in the car.  Hmmmm — mall properties partnering with gas stations to earn spending cash via loyalty/tracked purchases? Hello, Buy & Shell!

While the cost pressures of every square foot can’t allow a switch to retail-tainment without ROI, there could be fresh ways to ensure sales and encourage young consumer connections that have morphed monstrously in our online world. Could be a pIck up in all this, Mr. Retailer.