Lately, discussions around consumer behavior and preferences have tended toward the apocalyptic. With more and more name-brand retailers shuttering stores, many assume that the shopping mall's days are numbered. A recent study from Package Concierge, a provider of automated locker solutions, suggests these fears may be premature.
While the organization's survey confirms that shopping has evolved, it also suggests that Generation Z is far from ready to say goodbye to brick and mortar stores. Of the thousand respondents, all between the ages of 18 and 25, 60% reported visiting a mall within the last month. 90% of them used the trip as an opportunity to make an in-store purchase. That's not to say these young shoppers are beholden to tradition. In fact, they are more likely than ever to leverage non-traditional ordering and pick-up methods. Nearly two-thirds say they have taken advantage of the increasingly-popular Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) model this month.
"The survey validates what we've known to be true," says Package Concierge founder Georgianna W. Oliver. She continues, "shopping behaviors are evolving and consumers want options that include both online and in-store experiences."
Online shopping has certainly taken a huge bite out of traditional retail. Around a quarter of survey respondents report that they shop online exclusively. It's clear, however, that the convenience of online shopping has not eliminated Gen-Z's affection for its favorite retail chains. In fact, perks like next-day shipping seem to have given young shoppers a taste for speed that only the BOPIS model can fully satisfy.
After placing an order online, around a third of survey respondents expect to receive it within a matter of hours. 8% are unwilling to wait more than a single hour. Even eCommerce giants like Amazon and Walmart cannot dependably offer this guarantee. The BOPIS model can. In addition to providing near-instant gratification, BOPIS also makes last-minute shopping effectively stress-free.
Surviving the "retail apocalypse" will mean winning over an emerging generation of shoppers, shoppers with increasingly little patience for missing inventory or slow shipments. For brands including Kohl's and Nordstrom, BOPIS options are already playing an important role in these efforts.