Gen Z is digital-first, but hasn't given up on brick-and-mortar experiences: report

As the first cohort to never know a time without the internet, Generation Z is often heralded as an entirely new species, one with the power to disrupt traditional business practices and ways of life even further than their millennial predecessors.

New research, however, reveals key findings that health system strategists may want to keep in mind when planning their digital and physical footprints for the years to come: namely, that Gen Z is not completely opposed to the continued existence of said physical footprint.

According to management consulting firm A.T. Kearney's new "Future Consumer Report," though Gen Z is particularly digital-oriented, they still see the value in brick-and-mortar experiences. They were more likely than any other generation to strongly agree with the statement that an in-person experience "allows me to disconnect from social media and the digital world," with 58 percent of Gen Z respondents agreeing with the statement.

The survey also led to several other findings which, though framed in the context of the retail experience, can certainly be applied to healthcare delivery. For one, when asked about their preference for virtual or physical experiences during various legs of the shopping journey, 73 percent of Gen Zers said they prefer to discover new products in store, 65 percent like to trial new products in store and more than 80 percent prefer to make final purchases in store, rather than online.

As for the most important aspects of an in-person experience, 83 percent of Gen Z respondents cited support tools such as maps and kiosks, 79 percent value security considerations such as visible guards and almost 75 percent are looking for a "well-curated store experience focused on a limited number of products."

Read more here.

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