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Gen-Z Shopping Behaviors: How Retailers Can Attract Younger Generations

As stores begin to re-open across the nation, retailers will be looking for ways to offer a safe, secure, and premium consumer experience. This is especially true for retailers looking to attract the $143 billion buying power of Generation Z shoppers, who make up about 40% of all consumers.

Luckily, Gen Z’s spending habits provide a few unique ways that retailers can attract these young consumers.

Gen Z Craves In-Store Shopping

The vast majority – 81% – of Gen Z consumers (those born between 1995 and 2015) prefer to shop in-store. In fact, e-commerce only accounts for 7.4% of Gen Z spending, with many preferring to shop in a physical store. According to recent data, 73% of Gen Z shoppers said they like to shop in-store to discover new products, and 58% of them say browsing in-store allows them to disconnect from the digital world.

Shifting from In-Store to Mobile Experience

In light of changing social distancing recommendations, Gen Z’s in-store shopping habits may prove to be difficult to continue. One way brick-and-mortars can continue to attract Generation Z shoppers and follow social distancing guidelines is through the use of mobile apps. Retailers should look to create mobile applications that are engaging, personalized and user-friendly to encourage Gen Z shoppers to make online purchases.

Another way retailers can continue to attract Gen Z Shoppers is by offering virtual shopping experiences. Gen Z craves connection and community, and they actually prefer to engage with and speak to store associates while in-store. Retailers should get creative in bringing this in-store interaction to online platforms.

Delivering a Positive In-Store & Online Experience is Key

Retailers should deliver positive in-store and online shopping experiences to Gen Z. Why? Because they have high expectations. Research shows that 22% of them will refrain from making a repeat purchase if their online experience is poor, and that number jumps to 25% if they have a negative in-store experience.

Now more than ever, retailers should provide an intimate and personalized experience to Gen Z shoppers. This generation is digitally connected, so they are more likely to share personal reviews – both positive and negative – on the products and services they’ve rendered via social media. In fact, data shows that over 60% of Gen Z often leave a product review after a purchase. It is important for retailers to provide timely responses to any online comments made by Gen Zers.

Gen Z Ranks BOPIS as One of Their Top Preferred Shopping Methods

Growing up with technology at their fingertips, Gen Z shopping habits are primarily driven by mobile and experiential shopping. It should come as no surprise that Gen Z shoppers live in a digital world and simply reach for their mobile devices to research products, engage with brands, discover new items, and make purchases. Additionally, Gen Z is all about ease and convenience. They want the products they order online to be available immediately, and they want the pick-up process to be quick and easy.
This is where Buy Online, Pick-up In Store (BOPIS) comes into play. Gen Z ranks BOPIS as one of their go-to shopping methods. However, retailers need to execute BOPIS seamlessly in order to boost Gen Z customer loyalty and bring in additional revenue from Gen Z shoppers.

Smart Lockers Help Retailers Provide Safe, Secure & Contact-Free BOPIS Process

Smart lockers, like those offered by Parcel Pending by Quadient, can help retailers streamline their BOPIS process and enhance their customer experience. In fact, Parcel Pending’s BOPIL® (Buy Online, Pick-up In Locker) solution makes it quick, convenient, and most importantly, safe for customers to retrieve their online orders. Customers can be in and out of the store with their goods in just seconds compared to the outdated method of waiting 10-15 minutes for a store associate to locate and provide their order.

The way BOPIL works is simple. Once an online order is fulfilled – be it clothing, electronics, or more – the items are placed into one of the Parcel Pending lockers at a participating retailer location. Customers are then instantly notified by text or email and provided with a unique access code that they use to access their order. They can quickly and easily pick up their online order at their convenience by going to the retail store and entering their personal access code at the locker kiosk. All deliveries and customer pick-ups are monitored, tracked, and verified by Parcel Pending’s built-in cameras and infrared scanners to provide a complete chain of custody for all orders.

By bringing a customer into a store and delivering a convenient, quick, and premium experience, these younger consumers are more likely to make additional purchases since their time is no longer wasted waiting in line. In fact, 61% of shoppers who come into the store to collect their online order make an additional unplanned purchase. Retailers can drive additional in-store purchases by rewarding customers for utilizing BOPIS via product coupons or samples in the lockers. This type of incentive helps to get customers into a retail store twice – once to pick up the online order and then again to make use of the coupon. There are countless ways that BOPIL can help retailers market to Gen Z customers.

Finally, with the demand for contact-free pick-up options growing – 87 percent of consumers prefer contact-free pick-up options – BOPIL also lets retailers provide a contactless way for customers to retrieve their online orders.

By adapting their shopping experience to appeal to young shoppers and their purchasing preferences, retailers can tap into Gen Z’s influential spending power. To do so, retailers should consider investing in safe, secure, and innovative solutions – like BOPIL by Parcel Pending – to earn the loyalty of this demographic.

Let Parcel Pending by Quadient help you save staff time, boost your bottom line, and provide a consistent and secure consumer experience by streamlining your BOPIS process. Discover the retail locker solution that is right for your business today.


  1. CNBC, Gen Z shopping habits can fuel a brick-and-mortar resurgence, report says, available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/17/gen-z-shopping-habits-can-fuel-a-brick-and-mortar-resurgence-report-says.html#:~:text=Gen%20Z%20shopping%20habits%20can%20fuel%20a,and%2Dmortar%20resurgence%2C%20report%20says&text=81%25%20of%20Gen%20Z%20prefers,media%20and%20the%20digital%20world.
  2. Forbes, What Does Gen Z Want From Retail?, available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinessdevelopmentcouncil/2020/02/25/what-does-gen-z-want-from-retail/#23e45c05661b
  3. Grocery Dive, How to tap into Gen Z’s $143B spending power by smartphone, available at: https://www.grocerydive.com/news/how-to-tap-into-gen-zs-143b-spending-power-by-smartphone/551513/