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Retailers: Time to hand control to generation Z?

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8th Sep 2015
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When it comes to home delivery, retailers must work harder to satisfy the ever-increasing expectations of generation Z, says Shutl’s head of direct, Jason Tavaria.

Shutl have released research today that states 86% of 18-24 year olds highlight home delivery options as a key factor influencing their choice of retailer when buying online.

In contrast, the study of 2,000 UK consumers found that delivery options are considered less of an issue for over-55s (64%), rising to 72% for 45-54 year olds, 81% of 35-44s and 83% of 25 -34s.

However, Tavaria says it is the most expectant younger demographic, ‘Generation Z’, from which retailers should be heeding the call, as the youth often set the bar for widespread ecommerce trends later done the line:

“If you think about the young generation of 10 years ago, they were driving online buying and the older generation would never have even considered going online to shop. Now they’re using their mobiles to buy online. In any industry, you look to the younger generation and their mindset in terms of shaping the future for everyone else.”

Shutl’s research also states that consumers are less patient about delivery speed the younger they get, with 73% of over-55s stating a two to four day delivery timeframe is acceptable from retailers they shop with online, compared with just 58% of Generation Z.

But while speed of delivery may be a major driver for retailers looking to offer a competitive advantage to consumers, (Shutl’s owners, eBay, have even previously stated it may well be the only competitive advantage in the future), Tavaria believes success still lies with how easily retailers can hand over “control” of the delivery process to the younger demographic.

“Delivery is all about giving control to the consumer,” he states. “If the consumer is in control of the delivery, then they’re going to be satisfied.

“That is more important than speed. If you look at one of the most popular carriers today – DPD – they’re not necessarily the fastest, but they put control in the hands of the consumer; they send them a text message, they tell them when a delivery is going to get to a house, they allow consumers to change that. To the younger generation this seems like a quite basic service, but people love them because it puts them in control.”

“The real challenge is that retailers and carriers build a relationship between one another, and the courier companies see the retailers as the customer, and so are set up to be a B2B relationship when what both need to be doing is building a consumer proposition, because the consumer is the customer, not the retailer. That’s the seismic shift that has to happen if we want to change this industry.”

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