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According to latest research, Generation Z - all those born in the late 1990’s - are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to how their purchases, both online and instore, are delivered. Indeed, UK retailers should be bracing themselves. Independent research we commissioned from Red Dot Research uncovered some interesting expectations amongst young savvy shoppers. The research found that delivery expectations are increasingly a growing differentiator for this group when making purchase decisions. Indeed, 86 percent of 18-24 year olds surveyed cited it as a key factor when considering which online retailer to purchase from.

They also had much higher expectations of retailer performance. Nearly twice as many (60 per cent) of the younger responents, as their middle age counterparts, had bigger expectations of retailer delivery performance compared to two years ago.

Understanding tomorrow’s shoppers

By 2020, its predicted Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers and that’s a compelling reason for retailers to really understand what makes this generation of shoppers tick. Even today we see shoppers across all generations wanting more flexibility in their purchasing options, and when the tech savvy Generation Z hit the streets we’re likely to see a generation of even more demanding individuals. Generation Z have grown up with instant and easy access to entertainment, their expectations will far exceed any of today’s shoppers.

Delivery in the hands of the customer

Offering choice to the customer, and putting the customer in charge of when, where and how their parcel will be delivered will ensure success for those retailers striving in a tough competitive environment. Delivery will become the key differentiator possibly even over price, as two day delivery windows begin to seem archaic to people used to instant gratification in the purchasing world. Retailers should ensure they have the delivery options and mechanisms in place to give back control – if they don’t, its likely shoppers will simply switch to a competitor that can.

Getting delivery right, meeting the demands of today and tomorrow’s shopper is increasingly challenging for retailers – but those that focus on putting the customer first when it comes to delivery, will continue to reap the rewards.

By Tom Allason, founder & CEO, Shutl