Gen Z Prefers to Shop In-Store


While e-commerce is certainly incorporated in Gen Z’s overall shopping habits, this generation prefers the in-store experience.

In a recent report, “Gen Z is Reaching Adulthood and Merchant Service Providers Need a Plan,” Daniel Keyes, Senior Research Analyst of Merchant Service at Javelin Strategy & Research, examines the shopping preferences of Gen Z, and the steps merchants can take to build on the relationships they have with this group.

“Our customer preference data shows that right now Gen Z would prefer to buy items in-store if they’re available both online and in-store,” said Keyes. “[On the other hand], millennials are very committed to e-commerce—they had a unique experience of e-commerce growing up, with it being cool, new, and exciting.”

Gen Z, on the other hand, may not have the same connection with e-commerce that the older cohort does. That’s not to say that Gen Z is disinterested in e-commerce, but rather, they’re not currently accelerating growth in e-commerce as many may have expected.  

“That could change as they get older, but it’s not the case at the moment,” said Keyes.

E-commerce is still growing and won’t hit its equilibrium for some time. And Keyes cautions against overreading the survey data. “Maybe as Gen Zers become adults, and need greater convenience, they’ll love e-commerce even more,” he said. “And also this is preference data, not usage data. So, it reflects less about Gen Z shopping patterns and more about a desire for in-person shopping options.”

By and large, this group holds a lot of spending power. And at the end of the day, Gen Z consumers are looking for convenience. Therefore, it’s critical that merchants make sure they’re able to create a seamless shopping experience—and that their payments operations are readily available to handle any transaction—whether it’s in-store or online.

Check out our recent report “Gen Z is Reaching Adulthood and Merchant Service Providers Need a Plan” to learn more about Gen Z’s current payment preferences and how they may evolve as this group grows older. Our research also touches up the key strategies merchant service providers should employ to help their merchants succeed with Gen Z now and in the decades to come.


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