Like any other group, Generation Z have a set of expectations when it comes to retail. These have been shaped by experiences had growing up, and are distinctive from other generations, such as Millennials. For retailers looking to engage with Gen Z, it's crucial to understand what they want.

Like any other group, Generation Z have a fairly well defined set of expectations when it comes to retail. These have been shaped by experiences had growing up, and are quite distinctive from other generations, such as Millennials. For retailers looking to engage this burgeoning generation, it's crucial to understand what it is they really want.

Mobile is a big consideration

Retailers with Gen Z in mind need to understand just how much this generation uses smart phones. more than half are using devices to research products and services before making a purchase, and to compare the different options available. 51% will search for promotions or discounts for products they are interested in via their mobile, and 53% will use it to look for items online that might not be available in-store. There's a clear commitment among Gen Z to seeking out the best product at the best price - and mobile is how most feel that this can be achieved.

The in-store experience is important

You might think that Gen Z would be happy to do everything online, but, in fact, 67% are shopping in-store most of the time. Only 2% never shop in-store. So, engaging with this generation isn't just about the digital world, but the real life experience too.

Gen Z are genuine omnichannel shoppers

Gen Z are happy to engage across multiple channels, even those who are mostly shopping in stores, or who prefer a substantially digital experience. What's crucial to note is that, wherever they are shopping, Gen Z expect to see technology being used across channels to enhance their retail experience. Factors that most will look for include convenience, adding value and improved customer service. Wherever they are searching and buying, there are a number of key factors that are important to Gen Z when it comes to shopping across channels.

For example, 49% said that the ability to find what they were looking for quickly was important. 30% identified having a choice of different ways to pay as the most crucial factor, and 28% said high quality customer service was the top priority. Technology can add value to consumer experience in all of these areas, and help any brand to engage across multiple channels.

Customisation is key

Gen Z approaches the purchasing process with a much more collaborative outlook than many other generations. For example, 48% would like to see brands using technology that enabled consumers to customise products for themselves and 54% value tools that enable products to be tried out/on in-store.

This generation also expects much more crossover between the digital and in-store experience, with 31% looking for brands to use more interactive screens to help them go online while in-store. Innovation is also something Gen Z see as crucial to a more customisable shopping experience - 39% would like to see robotics being used to help customers make purchase decisions or deal with order issues.

Gen Z have a very different outlook to its predecessors - for any brands serious about engaging with this generation, it's crucial to gain insights into key perspectives.

With a view to understanding what Gen Z want from shopping in the future, Wunderman Thompson Commerce has spoken directly to them as part of a major survey of more than 15,000 online shoppers across 8 international markets. The resulting report, "The Future Shopper 2019" will be available shortly.

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