Nike, Forever 21, Sephora, Urban Outfitters and Lululemon were among the retailers that Gen Zers preferred shopping in-store the most, according to the survey. These brands are also the ones using social media in interesting ways that connect back to the store, according to the report.
Nearly 50% of Gen Z consumers ages 18-22 surveyed said bringing social media tie-ins via digital displays or at-the-shelf signage would improve their shopping experiences. This shows the importance of having representation from influencers whom Gen Zers trust reflected in-store, the study noted. (Gen Z is defined as being born between 1997 and 2012, according to Pew Research.)
More than two-fifths of Gen Z shoppers who noted that they shop both online and in-store emphasized the importance of having the right floor plan in stores. One-third of Gen Zers who primarily shop in-store noted that wellness is a leading factor for them as a shopper, so features of the store “should be uplifting yet balanced with intimacy,” according to the survey. One example is fitting rooms that are sensitively constructed and don’t make shoppers feel like they are under a microscope.
“For wellness, it was interesting to see thoughtful fitting room experiences identified as a top priority, as opposed to more typical experiences you would associate with wellness such as biophilia, light and sound,” said Melissa Gonzalez, principal at MG2, in a statement.
Most Gen Z shoppers preferred branded pop-up shopping experiences and 49% of consumers who shop primarily online also preferred to attend experiential pop-up activations. Pop-up activations represent an opportunity to bring digital campaigns to life, according to the report, “resulting in not only increased foot traffic and sales in-store but as a way to generate e-commerce business and create a sense of social media hype around the fear of missing out.”
And one-third of Gen Z consumers like messaging in-store that reflects brand values, with sustainability being the most important.
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The survey also drew attention to the fact that Gen Z is drawn to highly interactive and personalized experiences when shopping with brands—almost 50% of respondents said that one of the top reasons for engaging in alternative experiences is that they have the opportunity to interact with the brand’s community.