April 2017

From A to Gen Z: Shopping with the Future Generation

2017 Recommended Retail Practice Report

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Introduction

In 2017, achieving success in the retail industry involves accepting that the future is here and in full force — just look at your customers! Generation Z are your Future Shoppers and it’s critically important to keep them top of mind as they’ve emerged as the key contributors towards change in the retail space.

Future Shoppers, our leading, adult Gen Zs, are the next generation of shoppers who have provided us with their key insights. They’re between 18-22 years of age, are already earning an income, but are one step away from starting their full-time careers. Ultimately, they’re the future consumers who will influence the direction of retail.

This year, to develop the annual AMP Capital Shopping Centres (AMPCSC) Recommended Retail Practice Report, we gave the power to young Australian and New Zealand shoppers, who provided insights into their current spending habits, experiences and expectations, with the aim of understanding where the future of shopping is headed.

Don’t Panic! Traditional Shopping is Not Dead

Despite the lure of online shopping, Future Shoppers still prefer to shop in-store just as much, if not more than Current Shoppers. This is because they’re social creatures, drawn to the face-to-face, touch-and-feel contact that in-store shopping provides. Yes, Future Shoppers are still avid e-commerce customers, but smart retailers are attracting Future Shoppers by focusing on the tangible benefits of in-store shopping. This includes making shopping a social event through fun experiences like Snapchat filters and in-store photobooths, to exclusive workshops groups can enjoy in-store.

Online and Bricks-and-Mortar Work Together

Future Shoppers, who are time-poor, use the internet to support their busy lives. In fact, the internet plays a role throughout Future Shoppers’ entire shopping experience - they’re ‘pre-shopping’ in their spare time, even continuing their research in-store. Smart retailers are embracing the internet by aligning their in-store and online offerings, leveraging the information shared by shoppers to create new and inspiring relationships with them. This includes sending geo-targeted alerts from the brand’s app to remind customers of products saved in their online wish-list, or surprising shoppers with in-store offers that are reflective of their online behaviour. 

Don’t just sell me something, mean something to me

Highly engaged with global issues, Future Shoppers value strong ethics and companies whose purpose goes beyond just selling products and services. For them it’s important to show authenticity in everything you do and be a sustainable and ethically conscious brand. Smart retailers have achieved this by identifying and supporting social and environmental causes through partnerships with like-minded charities, introducing sustainable and/or ethical products or employing sales assistants who are passionate about the same social causes.

Male future shoppers are a whole new ballgame

In 2016 we found that men love shopping. This year, our research found that young Australian men are more interested in staying ahead of popular trends than young Australian women! Male Future Shoppers love shopping in-store and online equally and are ready and willing to buy whenever they can. Although they’ve admitted they feel uncomfortable shopping in shopping centres, and prefer to shop with friends to feel more confident. To address this, smart retailers have focused on their customer service offering, ensuring their team provide a welcoming approach when engaging with this target market.

Video: Future Shoppers

 

Talking Shop Event