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E-commerce Research from inRiver Reveals Generational Trends in Shopping Preferences

New research from inRiver reveals 55% of shoppers research products online while in store, and this number is higher for 16-24 (nearly 70%) and 25-34 (67%) age groups.

Leading product information management company, inRiver, has unveiled a research report that focuses on the generational differences in consumer shopping habits and outlines the steps brands must take to meet the expectations of the newest generation of shoppers. The new report: Turning Browsers into Buyers: What Brands Need to Know About the Next Generation of Savvy Shoppers analyzes responses from 4,000 consumers across the United States on topics including Amazon, voice commerce, in-store product researching, and the likelihood of returns.

The propensity to search for a product on Amazon first is on a steady decline, with the youngest generation of buyers surveyed (16-24) being the least likely to do so. For this group, Amazon is just one of many sources of information rather than the default option. This indicates that the youngest generations of consumers will continue relying on more and more online channels to drive purchasing decisions, even if that means foregoing Amazon’s convenience factor.

Additional findings:

  • Voice tech is critical to reaching the biggest buying power: While only 22% of consumers surveyed have used a voice assistant to buy a product, this number is on the rise in the younger age groups.
  • Research-online-purchase-offline is the new standard: More than half of shoppers (55%) research products online while in store, but the number is significantly higher for the 16-24 (nearly 70%) and 25-34 (67%) age groups.
  • Returns are yet another customer touchpoint in the omnichannel experience: The majority (57%) of 16-24-year-olds report they buy with the intent to return, while only 19% of shoppers ages 65+ say the same.

“Customers in younger age groups have high expectations, and their needs should not be ignored by brands that want to stay afloat,” said Steve Gershik, CMO at inRiver. “Marketers were blindsided by millennials – we must not allow ourselves to be caught off guard again by Generation Z and Generation Alpha, who are already making purchasing decisions.”

“The changes in the commerce space will move rapidly as they always have, and this report has a very unique focus on the digital generation,” said John Lawson, president of ColderICE media. “There are some sharp turns that are showing up that brands must pay attention to – if we are already seeing consumers move away from the Amazon standard in ecommerce, this will be a very important signal for all of online retail.”

For more information and to download the Turning Browsers into Buyers report, visit here.

Research methodology:

Survey was conducted by Savanta in February 2019. Insights were collected from 4,000 respondents evenly dispersed across the United States in the following age groups: 16-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, and 65+.

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