Six in 10 Gen Zs will do their Black Friday and Christmas shopping using ‘alternative’ methods such as Pinterest, TikTok and Alexa this year.
More than half (57%), of 18- to 24-year-olds, have turned to non-traditional ways of spending over the last year – and this is likely to continue into the festive period and beyond. A study of 2,000 adults revealed WhatsApp (41%) is the platform they expect to rely on most for their shopping. Commissioned by Brightpearl.com, a retail operating system for some of the world’s biggest brands and retailers, the study found why these ‘alternative’ methods have become increasingly appealing to shoppers of all ages. Facebook (32%), voice assistants like Alexa (31%), TikTok (16%), and Pinterest (17%) will also be popular – as will Livestream shopping via retailer websites (19%). And the trend isn’t limited to younger adults – many over-35s intend to use similar ways of spending during their Christmas and Black Friday sprees too – 25% and 17% respectively.
Four in 10 prefer new social buying channels and livestream as they combine entertainment and shopping – much like traditional malls do. Similarly, 36% of Brits think they are better because they can interact and socialise with their friends more easily while they enjoy a spending spree.
Despite new ways to buy rapidly emerging for this Holiday season, Brightpearl researchers found very few businesses are set up to facilitate non-traditional ways of shopping. A study of 200 retailers found low adoption for new discovery and selling channels, including TikTok (15%), YouTube (20%) and livestream spending (9%). And this could be detrimental to their profit margins because a quarter of consumers have decided against purchasing goods and services from a retailer that didn’t offer new ways to buy.
Nick Shaw, a spokesman for BrightPearl.com said: “In the pre-internet age, retailers gradually realised shopping can be a form of entertainment, and a wider social activity, which is not only fun for consumers but also results in more sales. As such, traditional stores made more effort to make shopping ‘an experience’ – a form of leisure. And we’re now seeing this happen with online shopping thanks to a host of new ways to buy online – from new social media channels, to voice and live streaming – that combines shopping with socialising and entertainment. The ‘new normal’ for commerce this Holiday season and beyond is now likely to be framed by many non-traditional ways of shopping, which provides a huge choice to consumers and retailers. But, there’s a very real danger of retailers losing out on sales this holiday season if they don’t – or can’t – enable shoppers to spend in these ‘new’ ways.”
The study also found it’s not just where consumers are shopping online which is changing – shoppers appear to be paying for their purchases in different ways too. While debit (55%) and credit cards (50%) remain popular they aren’t the number one choice – that goes to PayPal (58%). The likes of Apple Pay (13%), Google Pay (11%), and Amazon Pay (11%) are popular too – as are Klarna (10% and Shopify (8%).
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However, the study carried out through OnePoll found many retailers don’t offer these payment methods. For instance, of those polled two-thirds aren’t set up for Shopify and 42% don’t allow consumers to pay through Amazon. BrightPearl’s Nick Shaw added: “We really are at the beginning of a new trend – things are changing in the world of online shopping and changing quickly. It is inevitable that more and more shoppers will buy and spend online in a variety of ways – especially as we approach Christmas and Black Friday. Unfortunately, many retailers will miss out because they aren’t set up to quickly add the new selling channels or payment methods that their customers now prefer.”
Top 10 ‘alternative’ ways in which consumers want to shop this winter.
- Dedicated retailer apps
- Voice assistants (Amazon Alexa/Amazon Echo/Apple Siri/Google Assistant etc)
- Livestream shopping