Millennials and Gen Zers Go Offline for Retail Therapy

Millennials and members of the Gen Z generation are trendsetters. They hold the keys to success not only for online retailers, but also for brick-and-mortar locations.

Spending by millennials in the U.S. is expected to reach $1.4 trillion annually by 2020. That will account for 30 percent of total retail sales. Gen Zers in the U.S. spend about $143 billion a year. And while they love shopping on, National Retail Federation (NRF) research indicates Gen Zers prefer to shop in stores.

Retailers that can access and analyze the appropriate data to understand the physical movements and motivations of such shoppers — or any shoppers, for that matter — will be best positioned to attract their business.

With a vast lake of real-time data that provides aggregate-level people and places intelligence to major retailers across the country, we recently pulled data on millennial and Gen Z shopping trends at physical locations. The real-time intelligence can be leveraged by retailers to deliver competitive advantage.

Here’s what the data revealed:

  • Adidas is the top sporting goods brand in Austin, Texas, especially with Gen Z women.
  • Millennial and Gen Z shoppers in San Francisco choose Adidas over Nike.
  • Female millennials in San Jose, Calif., prefer Nike, while Gen Z men there like Adidas best.

Near data also exposed the fact that Gen Z men in San Jose like to shop at Lululemon Athletica, a brand most closely associated with women’s yoga pants, and were more active grocery shoppers than millennial males during the study period.

Here are a few other key takeaways on millennnial and Gen Z consumers’ brick-and-mortar shopping trends:

  • More Gen Z shoppers in Los Angeles visited Nordstrom than lululemon.
  • In that same window of time, significantly more female millennials than Gen Z women visited Macy’s and lululemon.
  • Target and Walmart were the top choices among Gen Z shoppers in Austin, Texas, and Target was the clear winner among young shoppers in Los Angeles.

Much of the focus in retail these days is on the online experience. But many people — including a fair share of young folks — still do part of their shopping at physical locations. As we all know, some people view shopping not simply as a means to get what they want and need, but also as an opportunity to get out and get together with friends. There’s a social component to in-store shopping that still resonates with millennial and Gen Z consumers.

Retailers can make the most of these outings and opportunities by using the available data and technology to understand the people and places involved in brick-and-mortar experiences. That way they can leverage such intelligence to more effectively reach their target customers, adjust staffing based on shopper movements in the area, and even change storefront displays to appeal to specific groups in an effort to increase their appeal and boost their profitability.

Published in Total Retail.