Acumen Insights

What Do and Don’t Gen Zers Want When Shopping?

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Ayden conducted a survey of 2,010 U.S. consumers in an attempt to understand what Generation Z individuals favor and do not favor when it comes to shopping. Gen Z shoppers are big fans of “just walk out” stores. These stores allow shoppers to simply pick up the items that they need and have the store automatically charge their account. Thirty-nine percent of Gen Z shoppers hope that “just walk out” stores will happen in 12 months.

Gen Z shoppers also prefer showrooms. Showrooms are physical spaces for consumers to examine products and then buy these items online. One in three Gen Zers want showrooms to be commonplace in the next 12 months. In addition, half (50%) of the Gen Z shoppers said that showrooms could drive 50 percent more shopping. However, the shoppers do not have the confidence in retailers’ abilities to get the trend anytime soon. Only 22 percent expect showrooms to happen in the next two to five years.

Augmented reality and virtual reality is also becoming popular for Gen Z shoppers. Such technology would allow shoppers to see how clothing fits or how furniture would look in their homes. Forty-four percent of Gen Z shoppers wanted augmented reality/virtual reality technology to come to fruition within the next 12 months. However, slightly less than a third (28 percent) do not expect it to happen in the next two to five years.

Gen Z shoppers do not appreciate all forms of shopping-facilitating technology. For example, one of the most cutting edge security technologies uses biometric data like scanning a fingerprint or retina. Twenty-three percent of Gen Z shoppers thought this technology will be used for shopping in two to five years. However, a little over a third (35 percent) said they did not want this feature to be part of future shopping.

Why Do Millennials Move?

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Research by StorageMart as reported in the New York Post examined reasons for moving amongst 2,000 Millennials. The research revealed that six in ten Millennials moved out of their home city. About a quarter (24 percent) moved out of their state. A smaller percentage of Millennials even reported moving out of the country (4 percent). The average respondent moved more than 500 miles away from their home at some point.

There are various reasons why Millennials move. Approximately a fifth (21 percent) of Millennials moved in search of a new home or opportunity. One in seven Millennials reported moving because of situations beyond their control. This oftentimes included financial difficulties or eviction.

The average length of time for Millennials to move was about 11 to 13 weeks. For moves resulting from romantic relationships turning sour, it took Millennials 11 weeks to move. For situations in which partners had to find a new job, it took approximately 13 weeks to find a new home. Pet owners who were no longer allowed to have pets in their homes typically found new homes after 11 weeks. Those who fell on hard times typically found a new home after 12 weeks.

Some Millennials reported that their moves were a downgrade. Specifically, nearly one in four (24 percent) said their first major move was a downgrade from their previous living conditions. Eight in ten who downgraded moved to a less spacious home. Forty-three percent gave up having a backyard.

Other respondents said their move was a more positive experience. Specifically, just over half (52 percent) said their first big move was an upgrade from their previous living conditions.These individuals described having more spacious homes and living in better neighborhoods.

Other reasons that Millennials reported for moving away from home include:

  1. Finding a new job
  2. For a fresh start
  3. Chasing dream
  4. Got accepted to college
  5. Got married
  6. Upgrading to a larger home
  7. Change of scenery
  8. To be closer to significant other
  9. Constant disputes with neighbors
  10. Getting away from a family relationship

Stress & Sleep Amongst Millennials

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Research by Mattress Firm as reported in the New York Post examined stress and sleep in 2,000 Millennials. The researchers were interested in the most common worries plaguing Millennials. They also explored the impact of stress on their lifestyles and sleep. The researchers found that Millennials spend an equivalent of 63 full days a year stressed out or worried. Further, 71 percent of them woke up during the middle of the night thinking about stressors. This occurred up to three times in an average week.

This stress often resulted in Millennials failing to get a full night’s sleep. Ninety-one percent said that stress has negatively impacted their routines. Further, 45 percent said that the constant worrying caused them to toss and turn throughout the night. In addition, 59 percent said stress caused them to wake up feeling tired.

There were several stressors that Millennials attributed to their lack of sleep. The researchers found that finance was the biggest stressor for Millennials. The average Millennial spends equivalent to 88 days a year stressing about finances.

In addition to finances, work-related stress was also an area of concern. Millennials spent equivalent to 79 days a year stressing about work. Over half (52 percent) said they typically begin their work day already fatigued. The average respondent said they wake up tired four days of the week. In fact, about a third of Millennials said they make simple mistakes resulting from lack of sleep due to stress. In addition, 55 percent of Millennials reported being irritable and 11 percent have been rude to clients because they did not get a good night’s sleep.

A final type of stress that affected Millennials’ sleep patterns was their love lives. Fifteen percent of Millennials in relationships said that they had stress worrying about if their partner was “the one.” One in six Millennials also reported worrying about the lack of progress in their relationship. Amongst single Millennials, 15 percent reported worrying about if they would ever find a suitable partner.

Millennials Paving New Path for Mobility

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ReportLinker conducted research on 582 online respondents to examine awareness and perceptions of mobility services. Respondents were first asked about which shared mobility services they know. When asked without aids, 63 percent were aware of Uber, 11 percent were aware of Lyft and 1 percent were aware of Zipcar. However, when aided, 97 percent of respondents recognized Uber, 75 percent recognized Lyft, and 41 percent recognized Zipcar.

Millennials had stronger name recognition than the general population. Almost all of them were aware of Uber (99 percent). Approximately 80 percent were aware of Lyft. And a little over a third (35 percent) were aware of Zipcar. This is probably because they are most likely to use such services. In fact, when Millennials go out for an evening to socialize, they use a ride-hailing service 70 percent of the time.

Respondents were then asked in what contexts they use ride-hailing services. Sixty-two percent said such services to go out. Over a third (38 percent) said they use it for short-distance travels. Other uses for ride-hailing include: to work (12 percent), long-distance travels (5 percent), and shopping (5 percent).

Millennials also use ride-hailing services more frequently than other generations. Fifteen percent use such services 2-5 times a week. Sixty-nine percent of other generations say they use such services once a month or less.

Respondents were then asked why they use ride-hailing services. Sixty percent of respondents said they use them for convenience and ease of use. They can open an app and call a car simply. Forty-two percent said that a short waiting time influenced their decision to use ride-hailing services. A little over a quarter of respondents said that ride-hailing was more efficient. Finally, reduced transportation costs (16 percent) and faster commutes (14 percent) were cited as reasons for use.


Differences in Shopping Between Gen Z and Millennials

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Accenture conducted research on 10,000 respondents in 13 countries. They surveyed Gen Z (ages 18-20), young Millennials (age 21s-27), and older Millennials (ages 28-37). The researchers found that Gen Z individuals tend to be more impulsive shoppers. Approximately 60 percent said they made a purchase simply because they wanted to buy something or because they randomly saw an item they liked.

Compared to Millennials, Gen Z shoppers are more likely to experiment with new services provided by retailers. Seventy-four percent said they are currently using, cannot wait to try, or will probably try voice-activated ordering in the future. In addition, 71 percent said they are interested in automatic replenishment programs. Compared to Millennials, Gen Z shoppers had greater interest in renting fashion, furnishings, home goods, consumer electronics, and appliances. They were also more ready to order using concierge services (e.g., Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa). Further, Gen Z shoppers are more likely to adopt curated subscription programs for fashion, consumer electronics, and health and beauty products (e.g., Birchbox, Trunk Club, etc.).

Gen Z shoppers are not against shopping in stores; they still prefer visiting stores. In fact, compared to Millennials, they are more likely to engage with sales associates, comparison shop on mobile devices in store, and ask friends and family about purchases (in person or remotely via social media, texting, etc.). They are also more likely to interact in-store via self-service digital information sources. In terms of online shopping, Gen Z shoppers are more apt to buy fashion, health, beauty, and home goods online. Millennials are more likely to buy groceries online.

Compared to Millennials, social media has greater impact on purchasing for Gen Z. They are more willing to buy products and services via such channels. They are also more inclined to consider the number of likes a product or service receives on social media and the opinions of bloggers. In fact, twice as many Gen Z shoppers as Millennials turn to YouTube before making a purchase. Gen Z shoppers are also more likely than Millennials to give feedback via social media (e.g., posts on Facebook, Snapchat, etc.). Forty percent said they provide feedback often or very often compared to 35 percent of Millennials.

Saving for Retirement Major Stress for Millennials & Others

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Schwab Retirement Services conducted a national survey of 1,000 401(k) plan participants. The researched revealed that building adequate retirement savings was the most significant source of stress for respondents (40 percent). Respondents also cited job security (24 percent), paying off credit card debt (21 percent), and keeping up with monthly expenses (20 percent) as key sources of stress.

Millennials were not too different from the general population in terms of their financial concerns. Thirty-eight percent of them said saving for retirement was a significant source of financial stress. The second most significant source was monthly expenses (29 percent). In addition, 26 percent said that credit card debt and 24 percent said that student loans were sources of stress.

Approximately half of the survey respondents (51 percent) felt that they were on top of their 401(k) plans. A little over a third (35 percent) felt stressed about choosing the right investments. The primary barrier to saving was the unwillingness to sacrifice on quality of life activities (e.g., eating out, vacations, etc.). This was especially the case for Millennials.

Most of the survey participants felt that professional assistance could improve their financial situations. For instance, 70 percent said they would like personalized investment advice for their 401(k) plans. Only 10 percent of participants reported using professional 401(k) investment advice, however. The participants reported wanting assistance in all the following financial areas: calculating how much money they need to save for retirement (46 percent), determining at what age they can afford to retire (42 percent), figuring out what their expenses will be during retirement (39 percent), and anticipating tax expenses in retirement (38 percent).

What is promising is that most participants said they were already managing basic financial tasks at work. Sixty-seven percent said they were paying bills. Sixty-two percent said they were taking care of financial issues. Others were managing their 401(k) (56 percent) and checking up on non-retirement investment accounts (41 percent).

Generation Z & Millennial Brand Loyalty

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Research by CrowdTwist examined the differences between Generation Z and Millennials in terms of brand loyalty. A survey was conducted with 790 North American consumers aged 18 to 37. Respondents were first asked what brand loyalty means to them. Thirty-two percent of Millennials said they consider brand loyalty to mean they would “sometimes buy a brand, but would consider other alternatives at a lower price”. Further, 30 percent considered brand loyalty to mean that they would “buy the brand regardless of price, quality, convenience or brand promise.”

A larger number of Gen Z respondents than Millennials would consider other alternatives at a lower price. Specifically, 38 percent reported that they would consider other options. A lower percentage of these respondents, 27 percent, said they would always buy the same brand—true brand loyalty.

Participants were then asked to rank the factors most important in capturing their loyalty: product, service, price, convenience/perks, ethical principles, and instance of a loyalty program. Sixty percent of Millennials and 53 percent of Gen Z’ers ranked product as first. Both generations ranked price as number 2, but Generation Z (20 percent) were more price conscious than Millennials (16 percent). Presence of a loyalty program was more important to Generation Z respondents than Millennials. Fifty percent more Gen Z’ers than Millennials ranked the presence of one as a driver of brand loyalty.

However, what is particularly interesting is actual participation in loyalty programs. More Millennials (71 percent) than Gen Z’ers (63 percent) are active in at least one loyalty program. Participation in loyalty programs was highly dependent on industry. The strongest industry with the most participants was retail—74 percent for Generation Z and 75 percent for Millennials. Grocery story loyalty programs were also popular amongst both generations. However, financial services and travel loyalty programs were more popular amongst Millennials. Media and entertainment loyalty programs were most popular with Generation Z.



Millennial Concerns About the Economy & Country

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According to research by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), Millennials are highly concerned about the state of the economy and the direction of the country. Nearly three in ten Millennials (30 percent) felt that their local community is in a recession. In addition, a large majority (63 percent) felt that the country is on the wrong track. When considering gender, women (68 percent) were more likely to perceive the country being on the wrong track than men (57 percent). When looking at Millennial age breakdowns, the three youngest age groups were relatively consistent in believing that the country on the wrong track. Sixty-three percent of Millennials 18-21, 67 percent of Millennials 22-25, and 64 percent of Millennials 26-29 reported feeling this way. Older Millennials age 30-34 were slightly more optimistic with 58 percent reporting that they felt the country was on the wrong track.

Political affiliation does seem to impact perceived pessimism about the direction of the country. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans felt that the country is on the wrong track. Independents were less pessimistic with 67 percent reporting that they felt the country is on the wrong track. Democrats were the least pessimistic with under half (47 percent) reporting to feel this way.

The pessimism seems to hold true across racial lines. Caucasians were the most likely to feel that the country is going in the wrong direction (67 percent). However, Hispanics were not too far behind with 61 percent reporting to feel this way. African-Americans were slightly less pessimistic. A little over half (55 percent) said that the country was on the wrong track.

The vast majority of Millennials are dissatisfied with the nation’s economy. Approximately 70 percent said that the economy was only fair or poor. This perception was relatively consistent across all Millennial age breakdowns: 18-21 (70 percent), 22-25 (74 percent), 26-29 (70 percent), and 30-34 (66 percent). Education does seem to impact perceptions of the economy. Those with high school or less or some college were far more pessimistic. Seventy-four percent of those with high school or less or some college reported that the economy these days was only fair or poor. When considering those with a college degree or more, 61 percent reported that the current economy was only fair or poor.

Marketer Experiences Working with Influencers

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Research by TapInfluence examined various dimensions of influencer marketing. The researchers conducted an anonymous online questionnaire of 102 marketers that work with influencers to gain a different perspective on influencer marketing. The researchers first asked respondents why they feel that influencer marketing is important. The top reason that influencer marketing was important was that it was a “more authentic storytelling for our brand.” Secondly, respondents felt that it had “better reach to consumers.” Third, the marketers felt that it “offers a better return on investment than my other marketing channels.”  And finally, respondents felt that influencer marketing “makes our brand feel more plugged into digital communities.”

The marketers were then asked what they felt were the most effective forms of influencer marketing. The vast majority (71 percent) said that ongoing ambassadorships were the most effective. Further, 67 percent said product reviews were most effective. A little over half of the respondents said that event coverage (53 percent) and brand mentions (54 percent) were effective forms of influencer marketing.

Marketers were also asked about what types of influencers they found to be most successful. They felt that “a popular person with a significant and desirable audience” was the most successful. Second, “those who are subject matter experts regardless of follower count” were perceived as being successful. Further, “those who act as ongoing ambassadors” and “those who have a large following” tended to be most successful.

The marketers reported several challenges when it comes to working with influencers. The biggest challenge reported by 68 percent of marketers was “finding relevant influencers.” The second biggest challenge reported by 60 percent of marketers was “finding ways that help them engage their communities while satisfying executive expectations.” A third of respondents reported that “negotiating terms” (30 percent) and “overall management of 3rd party content creators” (30 percent) were significant challenges.

Influencer Marketing Engagement, Inspiration and Challenges

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Research by TapInfluence examined various dimensions of influencer marketing. The researchers conducted an anonymous online questionnaire of 1,753 influencers. Influencers were first asked what they love about their work and what keeps them continuously engaged. Seventy-two percent of influencers reported “That I am myself, honest, funny, open, willing to call it like I see it” was most important to them. Further, 64 percent said “That I provide value by addressing the things that they are interested in” was most important. Further, 59 percent of respondents reported “That I interact with them, listen, and respond online” kept them engaged.

The influencers were asked about the challenges they endure in influencer marketing. The biggest challenge was “Concern since it is new/unproven channel” which 56 percent of respondents reported being a challenge. Fifty-four percent of influencers reported “No budget assigned” as being a challenge to influencer marketing. The third biggest challenge was being “Unaware of what it [product] is” (42 percent).

Similar to challenges, respondents were asked about the biggest mistakes brands and agencies have made when working with them. The biggest mistake was “Not offering adequate compensation” reported by 72 percent of influencers. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said the “Overly restrictive content guidelines” was a big mistake by brands/agencies. A third mistake that the influencers reported was “Not providing adequate time” (32 percent). A little under a third (28 percent) said that a mistake was “Requiring too many social shares or sharing to every social channel”.

Finally, the researchers asked the respondents what inspired them to become an influencer. An overwhelming 70 percent said “To earn revenue, part-time or full time”. Fifty-eight percent of the respondents were inspired to become an influencer “To make an impact to affect change”. Forty-eight  percent reported that they wanted “To build an online audience or grow popularity”. And lastly, 37 percent of influencers wanted “To be recognized as a thought leader in the field”.