“High fashion and celebs don’t have as much influence as the industry might think; only 2% say they’ll buy clothes because a celeb/influencer has worn it”. That is one of the results from a recent study on U.S. consumers’ shopping behavior–especially amongst the Gen Z and Millennial generations–by Swedish payments provider Klarna surveying more than 1,000 consumers from the United States. Take a look at what else has an impact on their shopping behavior according to the study.
Gen Z are spending more online Today, U.S. shoppers admit to buying clothes and accessories online an average of 10 times a year. For Gen Z shoppers, aged 16-24, this number increases to 18 times per year, with nearly a quarter (23%) of them admitting to shopping online 1-3 times per month. Millennials are shown to shop online 14 times per year and the 55+ age group, 8 times per year.
Seasonal sales vs. celebs
High fashion and celebs don’t have as much influence as the industry might think; only 2% say they’ll buy clothes because a celeb/influencer has worn it. This outlook differs for younger shoppers where social-influenced spending is key. For the ‘want it now’ Gen Z generation, 25% say they are most influenced to buy when they see an item trending which is likely to sell out and 26% when they’ve seen something on social media.
The average American shopper though is more likely to be influenced by items reaching the end of their life-span or seasonal sales. Men are frugal spenders, with two-thirds (60%) saying they are most likely to buy new clothes when an old item wears out–compared to 52% of women.
U.S. shoppers also buy new clothes when there are seasonal sales (44%) and big events like a wedding (30%).
Online consumers want smooth & seamless shopping The top reasons for U.S. shoppers abandoning a purchase online are that the retailer does not have a decent returns policy (36%) and the checkout process took too long (31%). Over two-thirds (66%) say a free and easy returns policy is one of the top 2 aspects that would improve the experience and 53% said a slow and expensive returns process would stop them from shopping with a retailer again. A flawed website functionality would also prohibit 61% of shoppers from repeat visit/purchase.
Customers want to touch & feel Although shoppers are making purchase decisions online, they still miss being able to touch, feel, and see the product before buying. Almost half (46%) of U.S. shoppers say they like to touch and try items before they buy them, so they will tend to buy more expensive items in store. A third (29%) of shoppers prefer to browse for a new purchase online and then actually buy it in store.
More flexible payment methods
U.S. consumers favor luxury and high-end items but are often limited based on price point. Having more flexible payment methods would allow them to make these purchases. Nearly a quarter of shoppers (23%) say they have to save for several months before purchasing costly goods. This is highest amongst Gen Z and Millennials at 35% and 30% respectively.
22% of shoppers say they struggle to afford the latest trends and would like an option to pay in installments or pay later–increasing to 37% for Gen Z and 30% for Millennials. A third said having the option to pay for their online purchases in four equal payments would help them better manage their finances and a quarter (24%) said it would mean they could buy more high-end products they couldn’t usually afford. A fifth (21%) said it would allow them to ultimately spend more.
Human touch vs. convenience
73% of consumers think that shopping in-store offers a human experience that can’t be replicated online. However, over half miss the personalized offers and discount codes they receive online and 55% think that shopping online is more convenient. Consumers want to bring some of the human touches to online shopping – 34% want online chats so they can speak directly with a representative about an item before buying.
Technology rules, ethics gain importance
49% of shoppers want technology that takes their measurements so they can be sure something will fit before buying. Nearly a quarter (24%) want augmented or virtual reality components–the ability to see items without trying them on (this number rises to 40% for Gen Z). 26% of shoppers want smart mirrors that make recommendations on what to buy based on what you try on. Ethics are important too–21% of U.S. consumers want tracking tech so they can see where their item came from and if it is ethically produced.