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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : April 15, 2016

Younger generations most likely to value physical stores

Despite digital being an integral part of their lives, younger generations are actually more likely to say it is important that a brand has a physical store, according to new research from iModerate Research Technologies.

by Helen Leggatt

iModerate Research Technologies recently published research centered on what motivates consumers to visit physical stores, what makes the ideal experience once inside and what value stores have in their lives.

A surprising finding is that younger generations were more likely to think it important that brands have a physical store (82% Millennials / 80% Gen Z) than older generations (69% Gen X / 65% Boomer).

For Generation Z and Millennials, physical stores are all about "reassurance" and "efficiency" respectively. Generation Z like the touchy-feely aspect of physical stores where they can play with colours and patterns, mix and match. Furthermore, they want immediate satisfaction and are put off by the delivery times associated with online shopping, as well as the cost.

Millennials, on the other hand, value the ability to "quickly get in and get out" of a store having purchased exactly what they wanted due to their busy lives and limited free time. According to iModerate, "They're drawn to the one-stop nature of big box stores, but will spend more money elsewhere if they feel that it'll be more convenient".

For older generations the physical store signals a less frenetic experience. Generation X value the "escape" that a physical store offers. While they love big box stores, they are more likely to take time to browse and little extras such as creative displays, a cafe or calming music enhance their experience.

Finally, Boomers are all about in-store comfort (low lighting, mood music and light fragrances) and are more price conscious than other generations. "They are pragmatic shoppers," writes Katie Houser, iModerate Research Technologies marketing manager, on the company blog, "and want to touch and feel things before purchasing them".

Tags: brick and mortar, in-store, physical store, research, shopping

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