Eco, value and innovation are key to youth shoppers this festive season

The under 35s will be key to the Christmas shopping season internationally, a new study shows. And retailers who want to reach them need to hit their sweet spot by combining a sustainability focus with technology and attractive pricing.

That’s according to Capgemini, which spoke to almost 7,000 consumers in the UK, the US, France, Germany and Spain.

It found that 40% of the 18 to 34 age group is planning to spend more on their festive season shopping than last year, which compares favourably to the 28% of other age groups who plan to increase their festive budgets.

And these younger shoppers will be attracted by “channel diversification across online, in-store and voice; investment in making products and packaging more environmentally-friendly; and using technology to improve the shopping and delivery experience”.

While variety and a store’s convenient location are as important as they’ve ever been, different concerns are also creeping in and rising towards the top of consumer priority lists.

When asked to choose the top three factors that influence them when shopping for gifts for family and friends, respondents prioritised the quality of products and cost saving options equally at 54%, while the variety of products offered (50%) was only the third most popular factor.

And when asked about where they would most like to see retailers invest this season, maintaining current prices or even cutting them (33%) was the most popular response.

But selecting products/packaging that are environmentally-friendly was a key consideration for 21% of all respondents with 24% of 18-24s saying so. The UK seems to be the most focused on sustainable packaging (29%), followed by Germany (21%) and France (19%). But it’s less important for the US and Spain (14% each).

Key differences between the 18-34 and 35+ groups also included the younger shoppers being less committed to physical stores and preferring multi-brand e-sellers. Of this group, only 29% said they’d spend the most money in-store while 39% of those aged 35+ would do so.

And younger shoppers also have a higher preference for tech such as automated checkouts (23% vs 16% on average), mobile wallet payments (21% vs 12%), virtual reality mirrors (22% vs 15%) and innovative delivery options like drones or in-car delivery (16% compared to 10%).

Despite the move online for much festive season shopping, physical stores are still important, however, with 39% of consumers planning to make most of their purchases in-store during the season. But multi-brand online retailers will be encouraged as 32% are planning to spend most of their money on these sites.

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More articles on Christmas trends: TimeOut, AmazonxChristmas

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