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Don’t go ecommerce only just yet, Gen Z still wants tangible stores

clothing store retail

Hang on to that storefront

Despite the increasing popularity of ecommerce, and of internet-based small businesses, most consumers still think it’s important for a brand to have a brick-and-mortar store, according to recent research published by eMarketer.

Consumer insights firm, iModerate Research Technologies, conducted a study in February of this year wherein they polled internet users over age 15 about whether or not they thought it was important for a brand to have a physical storefront.

Across all age groups

With young people growing up totally accustomed to internet technology and ecommerce, you would think that they would find physical storefronts increasingly superfluous. However, the research shows that, across all age groups, most people think it’s important for a brand to have a store.

In fact, the youngest group polled, Gen Z, that is, young people ages 15 to 20, were the most likely of any age group to say that having a storefront is important.

A full 82 percent of Gen Z internet users said they thought a storefront was important, with 80 percent of Millennials (ages 21 to 33) close behind. Over half of Gen Xers (ages 34 to 50) and Baby Boomers (the over 50 set) also said that they thought brands should have a store.

Shopping in a store is exciting to consumers

Another recent EMarketer report found that, even though consumers enjoy the convenience of shopping online, they still greatly enjoy the “excitement” of shopping in a physical store. The report also found that many consumers enjoy combining their online research of products with a chance to see them in person and ask questions of a knowledgeable sales person before purchasing.

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How can you use this information?

Thus, rather than abandoning their storefronts in favor of ecommerce, many brands are, instead, incorporating connected technologies into the real life shopping experience. A report released in March by Forbes Insights and professional services firm Ernst & Young shows that the majority of U.S. executives for retail brands claim to have incorporated connected technologies, such as interactive apps, into their physical storefronts.


Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.



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