What drives today’s consumers?

In June 2017, we set out to compile an ambitious report from interviews with over 2,500 UK shoppers. It reveals some fascinating insight into consumer shopping behaviour across different buying channels, alongside attitudes to different payment methods, and the role of social media and identity in the shopping experience.

The findings are broken out by age range:

Gen Z (16-20)

Gen Y (21-34)

Gen X (35-50)

Boomers (51-69)

How consumers shop

Retailers must gain a more detailed understanding of their customers’ preferences if they’re going to stay one step ahead of the rest, in what is a highly competitive market. We found:

  • 76% would abandon a purchase if charged for Click and Collect
  • 73% of Boomers prefer paying a member of staff
  • 58% of Gen Z prefer a self-service payment option

The payment experience

Payments are right at the heart of the shopping experience. We found that:

  • 51% of consumers will walk out of a store if there’s a card surcharge or minimum spend
  • 75% prefer their debit/credit card to their mobile when making contactless payments
  • 50% of Gen Z carry less than £10 in cash

Social and security trends

Any retailer looking to drive profits and improve the customer experience must keep their eye closely on emerging trends. We found:

  • 61% of consumers think it’s quicker to use biometric authentication than PINs or passwords
  • 59% would be happy to use biometrics instead of PINs and passwords to authorise payments
  • 75% don’t feel confident paying via a messaging platforms (such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, WhatsApp Messenger or InstaMessage)

Key takeaways

  • Many consumers feel that store employees enhance the customer experience. But retailers must revise their role, focusing on how they interact and engage customers across the store
  • Today’s impatient consumers prioritise speed and convenience but they’re reluctant to pay extra for it. Surcharges for Click and Collect won’t wash
  • Phones and apps are the future of payment, enabled by biometric security. But the mobile payment experience is still not what it could be
  • Consumers want flexibility from brands, both in terms of payment options and which channels they can buy goods from
  • There’s still uncertainty around the security of storing card details online. Retailers need to explain how they are protecting customer details, to alleviate concerns