21 September 2015
As Generation Z comes of age, retailers need to brace themselves for a shift in consumer behaviour, according to a new report by industry analyst Red Dot Research. As the original internet pioneers of the millennial generation are succeeded by generation Z – those born in the late 1990s – fast delivery, speed of service and multi-channel retailing are topping the wishlists of the shoppers of the future – and it’s the retailers who adapt accordingly who are set to be the real winners.
“A two-day delivery window for example will seem archaic to people who have grown up downloading entertainment in seconds,” says Tom Allason, CEO of courier service Shutl. “Retailers therefore need to ensure that they have the delivery options and mechanisms in place needed to give this iGeneration the control of purchasing what they want, when they want it. If they don’t, shoppers will simply switch to a competitor that can.”
Specifically, 86 per cent of the 200 UK consumers polled – all of whom fell into the 18-24 age bracket – stated that delivery options were a key factor influencing their choice of retailer when shopping online. It’s a figure that declines steadily as shoppers get older, suggesting that speed of delivery will only become more essential as today’s young shoppers become more prevalent and affluent. Less than half of those aged under 34 felt that a delivery timeframe of four days was acceptable – compared to 73 per cent of those aged 55 plus.
The only anomaly in the findings arose from those living in rural areas. Almost two-thirds of those polled who lived in geographically rural locations revealed that a delivery time of up to a week was acceptable, suggesting that the potential for improvement may lie in offering consumers in harder-to-reach areas the same level of service as their urban counterparts already enjoy.