Study Finds Young Shoppers Still Love Stores, Will Wait for Packages

A new study of consumers aged 14-24 by Fluent Commerce found that young shoppers weren’t as eager for fulfillment immediacy as you’d think in the age of Amazon Prime and guaranteed two-day delivery, with a majority of digital natives still good with hitting the stores.

Nearly three quarters (73%) of the 5,000 young shoppers surveyed by Fluent said they still buy in stores, while almost half of them (47%) were willing to wait up to seven days for their package to arrive. Just about a quarter of them (24%) said they’re ok with waiting an astounding 10 days.

When it comes to buy online, pickup in store, the next wave of shoppers doesn’t seem concerned with going the distance. Fifty-three percent of them said they were willing to travel up to 30 minutes to pick up their package, while 23% said they’d travel up to 60 minutes, making the burgeoning service somewhat less convenient.

This result should signal to omnichannel retailers that store inventory will remain as important as online stocks in reaching the next generation, Fluent noted.

Given all the emphasis on same-day store pickup of online orders by many top retailers, it was somewhat surprising that a greater majority of young shoppers didn’t demand this option, with 66% of respondents saying they expected it.

Some other stats from the survey:

  • 40% said late package deliveries are the most frustrating part of the shipping experience
  • For that reason, 35% typically give themselves a two-week lead time to buy a gift
  • 90% said free shipping influences their purchase decision

The survey results showed that the next generation of shoppers “are an anomaly when it comes to the scale of convenience,” Fluent said in the report. “Meaning that retailers (in store and online) should pay attention to the idea that Amazon’s two-day shipping theory may mean less to emerging generations than it does to current shoppers.”

MCM Musings: It should be noted that this age bracket of young shoppers will probably have much different priorities for order speed and convenience once they move on to busier, more time-strapped adult lives, careers and new families. Still it’s interesting that the results point out how the immediacy of instant order gratification isn’t the number-one concern of many younger consumers.

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