Done in Australia and New Zealand this very interesting study by AMPCSC looked at current spending habits, experiences and expectations of groups of 1710 shoppers between 18 and 22 years of age. They are already earning an income, and are one step away from starting their full-time careers. Ultimately, they’re the future consumers who will influence the direction of retail. Out of this report, 4 main conclusions could be highlighted:

Gen Z

Traditional shopping is not dead.

Despite the lure of online shopping, Future Shoppers still prefer to shop in-store just as much,

if not more than Current Shoppers. The Australian are 87% liking shopping in a store while they are only 79% liking to do it online. However, the report clearly states that the offer from the retailers should include experiences, socialisation, events and highly personalised customer services.

Online and brick-and-mortar work together.

This is of course not new but here again confirmed by some interesting results specifically for the Gen Z. Stock checking, for example, one of the most convenient things to do online, is adopted by 83% of the Gen Z vs 78% of all shoppers. An even bigger difference can be found when comparing the online “wish listers”, 63% of Gen Z vs only 43% for all shoppers today.

The main reason why not going to a store would be lack of time to 32% of Gen Z vs 25% for current shoppers, leading back to the question of value for time and the need to offer experiences and added value to the journey to the store (not only to pick the product I have already chosen).

Gen Z 2

Don’t just sell me something, mean something to me.

This trend is already very clear among most shoppers and the study here do not show a clear difference between generation. The preferred brands are those that “give back” and “stand for something”. Future Shoppers value strong ethics and companies whose purpose goes beyond just selling products and services. For them, it’s important to show authenticity in everything you do and be a sustainable and ethically conscious brand. The difference between generations can be found in the willingness to pay more with 59% of the Gen Z vs 48% for all shoppers. Of course, even if they some have own incomes, most of the 18-22 in Australia and NZ probably never had to face economic problems by their own which could probably affect the result. We see that this willingness of paying for sustainable products in other studies depends on a lot of the disposable incomes.

Male future shoppers are a whole new ballgame

The research found that young Australian men are more interested in staying ahead of popular trends than young Australian women! Male Future Shoppers love shopping in-store and online equally and are ready and willing to buy whenever they can. And the differences are very important between generations, as 51% of the Gen Z males believe shopping is a social experience while only 36% of current shoppers do.  In this specific case, I would first rather look at the potential of the actual 64% of male shoppers of today and try to offer them a more pleasant experience. (see: how to work with innovation).

Gen Z 3


In the report, there are some interesting examples of best practices linked to the 4 findings described in this article. The Gen Z report is mainly showing that the actual trends will only accelerate while this generation will access to their full consumption potential. They will be more demanding and not willing to accept the annoying queues, out of stock, accessibility problems their parents.

The Full Report.

See also: Future of retail – Part 1Part 2Part 3