Global Youth Retail is a GfK proprietary study carried out in 10 countries (US, UK, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). The total sample of 7,266 people includes a boosted sample of circa 5,000 16–21 year olds.
The study explores attitudes and behaviors across grocery, personal care, fashion, mobile and personal electronics.
Young respondents were asked what they would hope to see from retailers in the future. While lower prices come top of their wish list across all markets studied, improving the shopping experience with greater choice, easier returns and improved delivery services mattered to all consumers.
These findings are not specific to young shoppers but are on the wish list of both age groups. And a seamless omnichannel experience also makes it onto the list: between one quarter of young respondents in Germany and nearly half in Brazil (48%) want shopping across online and physical stores to be easier (see Figure 7). The figures for the older age group are even higher in nearly all countries.
Which of the following would you hope to see from retailers in the future? (%)
Although improvements to functional services such as Click & Collect and home delivery are rated as being most valuable by older shoppers, our survey shows that young shoppers are most excited by the prospect of innovative technologies such as Amazon's drones for product delivery. The gap between older and young shoppers is typically wider in the developed markets, while in India and South Africa there are no differences between the different age groups. In the US, 50% of young shoppers are interested in Amazon's drones compared to 34% of those aged 22-65 and in the UK 49% of younger shoppers are interested compared to 40% of older shoppers (see Figure 8). This trend is continued in Germany (34% and 23%) and in Italy (54% and 44%). Appetite for new technologies is consistently higher amongst the young, but there are significant differences between the geographies for other attributes. For instance, although young US shoppers are more likely to purchase goods in-store and to have them delivered than older shoppers (32% compared with 25%), the opposite is true in all other countries. In Russia in particular the young are less likely to cite this (44% of those aged 16-21 compared to 60% of 22-65 year olds). These results show the need to study each market in detail and for retailers to create strategies that are tailored to each locality if they are to succeed in meeting shoppers' expectations both now and in the future.
If more proof were needed that consumers aged 16-21 in our survey had high expectations of shopping in the future, customization was high on the list. Young people in the US, Germany and Russia are much more likely than older shoppers to be interested in customized products. Furthermore, young shoppers are willing to trade their personal information where they see a direct benefit to them. For example, 49% of 16-21 year olds in Brazil want to buy products unique to them, and 51% want the store to "talk" to their mobile phone to tell them about products that match their needs. This is why beacon technology is gaining more traction around the world, most notably in the US. We anticipate continued appetite for increasing personalization from young shoppers and a willingness to embrace technologies that help facilitate a more tailored shopping experience.
Imagine shopping in the future. Which of the following services would be valuable to you as a shopper? (%)
Source: Warc, James Llewellyn
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