Retailers that do self-service right realize that catering to the needs of customers requires more than “just” adding isolated self-service options. Generation Z, which includes people born after 1997 and sometimes referred to as digital natives, is the generation that will determine the shape of retail in years to come. Research into their shopping patterns revealed that they are happy to admit that they are “always” online. The Gen Z generation spends more time on their mobile devices than any other generation. They use smartphones to communicate with the world, entertain themselves, and shop. They are tech-savvy, impatient, and demanding, so they expect end-to-end digital experiences that work flawlessly. They will not accept time spent on unclear navigation, bad UX, or waiting.
Although Gen Z is a tech-savvy generation, many of them still find the shopping experience in physical stores valuable and enjoyable. They shop both online and in stores quickly and securely using mobile payment apps like Apple Pay or Google Pay. Like Millennials, they just expect these two sides of retail to work together.
Retailers have successfully created branded apps to provide their customers with an easy and intuitive interface for mobile commerce. Now retailers must embrace these apps to provide in-store shopping assistance as well. Branded apps are by far best positioned to bridge the online and in-store shopping experience, and to enhance the in-store experience with highly anticipated self-service capabilities such as self-scanning, in-context product information, self-search, and mobile payments.