It is essential for retailers to understand the shopping preferences of their target audience to design the right shopping experience that appeals to their customers, according to the “2019 Consumer Shopping Habits – The Generation Gap” report, produced by BRP Consulting, Boston.

While the shopping journey varies depending on the customer, product and even season, there are similarities within generational groups. Digital consumers (ages 18-37), for instance, have higher expectations for the retail experience than traditional consumers (ages 38-plus) and embrace the use of technology to make their research and buying process more convenient. Traditional consumers are more focused on the basics of finding their desired product at the right price.

“It is interesting to see what drives consumers’ shopping habits and the differences between generational groups,” says David Naumann, vice president of marketing. “As retailers plan their in-store, online and mobile shopping experience strategies, it is imperative that they align with the desires of their target audiences. Making every experience a positive one is also key, as nearly two-thirds of all consumers will stop shopping at a retail brand after one unsatisfactory experience.”

This report is based on findings from a survey of 1,298 U.S. consumers fielded in December 2018 to identify how and where they prefer to shop and which factors influence their shopping journey.

Here are some key findings based on generation groups:

Digital consumers
As digital consumers research products, they seek out consumer reviews to make more educated purchase decisions. When choosing a store, 65% want the ability to receive personalized recommendations and 65% prefer the ability to pay via a mobile wallet or retailer app. Receiving merchandise quickly is important, with same-day delivery a reason to choose a store for 77% of these consumers. Digital consumers are more likely than traditional to share feedback on social media for both exceptional and unsatisfactory shopping experiences.

Traditional consumers
Traditional consumers focus on the basics when they shop – product availability and competitive pricing. While shopping for products, 63% choose a store based on the associates’ ability to order out-of-stock products. While they are more tolerant on the timing of deliveries, 86% will choose a store with free delivery over one that doesn’t offer this service. Traditional consumers rarely share feedback on social media for any shopping experience, but for unsatisfactory experiences, 64% will contact the retailer to share their dissatisfaction.

This report was sponsored by Manhattan Associates, Atlanta.