Retail has fully made the transition to the online world. Where once consumers would not have dreamed of making a purchase on a product that they had never seen, a huge amount of online purchases are made every year, making it a prominent part of the retail economy.
Social networking and smart technology have further influenced the manner in which we shop, particularly for a younger generation of shoppers. From collating the ideal image with online scrap books to expecting far more than simply the product, the younger generation may well be changing the face of shopping forever.
Generation Z takes the lead
This younger generation, known as Generation Z, have been noted to take a completely different approach to shopping that has been seen before. By growing up alongside social networks, a much more interactive approach to retail has come to be expected. The manner in which retailers gain the respect of these shoppers has completely changed the way shops are now operating.
Westfield’s director of marketing, Myf Ryan, has commented on the nature of the Generation Z shopper and how retailers can work with them:
“They are the savviest group of consumers. Constantly connected, they’re always operating online and it’s a key strand of their lives. This group wants brands and experience aligned to personal values. Brands that respond with hyper-personalised offers and understand this group’s intuitive digital expectations with transparency and honesty will win respect.”
The interactive experience
The in store experience has begun to reflect the need for an interactive environment that goes beyond simply displaying the product. Free Wi-Fi, music and fashion events, food and ‘chill out’ spaces that are separated from the products themselves help to encourage the Generation Z shopper to align their ideals with that of the brand.
It’s not sure about in store attitudes though – the online space must also offer far more than a simple option to choose the products. It has been shown that the online retailer than provides more than the basic service can expect increased footfall in store too.
A particularly prime example comes from Figleaves who offer the usually in store only service of bra fitting as an online experience, that not only serves customers to gain trust of the brand, but experience more than simply retail.
E-commerce sites must also create leads from the site to the store to encourage this footfall. By allowing customers to leave honest reviews builds the trust and the moral integrity of the brand, whilst showing what products are in stock where, alongside a map, will further encourage customers to take their custom in store.
Image credit: alt-self
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