Don’t believe the online hype. Digital natives still dig bricks and mortar stores

Don’t believe the online hype. Digital natives still dig bricks and mortar stores

Despite the stereotypes of “digital natives”, Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to increase their shopping in physical stores this year than any other generation. Yet 44% of retailers have made no progress in tailoring the in-store experience. That’s according to research from Oracle NetSuite, Wakefield Research and The Retail Doctor, involving 1,200 consumers and 400 retail executives across the US, UK and Australia.

This also found that 79% of retail executives believe having AI and VR in stores will increase sales, but these technologies are not yet widely accepted by any generation. Overall, only 14% of consumers believe such emerging technologies will have a significant impact on their purchase decisions. AI and VR in retail stores is most attractive to Millennials (50%) followed by Gen Z (38%), Gen X (35%) and baby boomers (20%). 

While 98% of retail executives think that engaging customers on social media is important to building stronger relationships with them, there is a big disconnect with consumers across all generations. Overall, only 12% of consumers think their engagement with brands on social media has a significant impact on the way they think or feel about a brand.

“We have seen decades of diminishing experiences in bricks and mortar stores, and the differences identified in these results point to its impact on consumers over the years,” says Bob Phibbs, CEO, The Retail Doctor. “Retailers have fallen behind in offering in-store experiences that balance personalisation and customer service but there’s an opportunity to take the reins back The expectation from consumers is clear and it’s up to retailers to offer engaging and custom experiences that will cater to shoppers across a diverse group of generations.” 

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