Gen Z and Millennials Increasingly Willing to Buy Directly from Brands, Bypassing Traditional Retail Channels

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Gen Z and over half (58 percent) of Millennials have ordered products directly from brands in the past six months, compared to 41 percent on average across all age groups
Gen Z and Millennials Increasingly Willing to Buy Directly from Brands, Bypassing Traditional Retail Channels 

Gen Z and Millennial shoppers are now more likely to order products directly from brands, and 72 percent of all shoppers expect to have significant interactions with physical stores once the pandemic subsides – up from 60 percent pre-Covid. 

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Gen Z and over half (58 percent) of Millennials have ordered products directly from brands in the past six months, compared to 41 percent on average across all age groups. Only 37 percent of Gen X and 21 percent of Boomer shoppers have ordered directly from a brand in the last six months, according to a new Capgemini Research Institute report.

Also, for those who have bought directly from brands, almost two thirds (60 percent) cite a better buying experience as a reason for purchasing directly, and 59 percent cite access to brand loyalty programs.

Moreover, in return for these benefits, consumers are willing to share their data. Currently, almost half (45 percent) of all shoppers say they are willing to share data on how they consume or use products and more than a third (39 percent) say they are willing to share personal data such as demographic information or product preferences. However, 54 percent of all shoppers say that offers, deals, and/or discounts would make it more likely for them to share their data directly with brands.

Tim Bridges, Global Head of Consumer Goods and Retail, Capgemini said, “Younger consumers’ willingness to go straight to brands when purchasing goods presents a real opportunity for consumer product companies. This enables them to collect consumer data and helps create a more mature direct-to-consumer channel. Being data-powered enables the consumer product and retail organizations to translate supply and demand trends into intelligent decisions on where best to stock their products, customize products and services and enhance customer experience.” 

Also, despite the growth in the e-commerce channels of shopping, it is not likely to replace in-store shopping entirely, experts believe. 

The surge in e-commerce over the last two years due to safety concerns and the desire to avoid physical stores has now plateaued. The notion that online may replace in-store entirely has been disproven, and the majority of consumers (72 percent) expect to have significant interactions with physical stores after the pandemic subsides – exceeding pre-Covid numbers (60 percent). 

Globally, all age groups expect their level of in-store interactions post-pandemic to be higher than their online interactions. Boomers are the most likely to interact in-store (76 percent), and Gen Z is the least likely (66 percent). 

However, the nature of these interactions is changing as the distinction between online and in-store continues to blur. For instance, post-pandemic, 22 percent of shoppers expect to have a high level of interactions with click-and-collect orders. This trend is highest for Millennials (33 percent) and lowest for Boomers (11 percent).

Delivery and fulfilment services gain importance in certain segments 

With convenience remaining a key priority for consumers, delivery and fulfilment are increasingly being transformed from a cost centre to a growth driver for many organizations. In the health and beauty and grocery segments, shoppers place greater importance on delivery and fulfilment than in-store experiences. This is especially true for groceries shoppers across all age groups, where 42 percent of shoppers say that delivery and fulfilment are the most important service attributes. 

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