Generational differences exist, but nearly all want the option to shop for home

PASADENA, Calif. — After clothing and groceries, home goods are the next biggest draw for consumers who are considering which shopping center to frequent.

A wide-ranging survey from Near Intelligence, a global data intelligence platform, found among shoppers in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, 60% are attracted to shopping centers that include retailers of home-related products. This preference was highest among Millennials (66%), with Baby Boomers, Gen Z and Gen X tightly grouped at 59%, 58% and 57%, respectively.

Other draws to get consumers to visit one shopping center vs. another were store selection (54%), atmosphere (43%) and better parking (41%). Of lesser importance were factors related to entertainment, dining and proximity to public transit. Proximity to home was the biggest draw among Baby Boomers (68%) and much lower among Gen Z (45%).

A vast majority of Gen Z and Millennial shoppers (88%) also like to personally engage with their favorite shopping centers. Loyalty programs were of most interest to the combined age group (50%), but they followed their favorite venues on social media as well (47%) and used the shopper center app (46%). In contrast, 44% of the Gen X/Boomer cohort engaged in mall loyalty programs and just 17% kept in touch with a shopping center through social media.

The survey also examined shoppers’ views about online retail, which was something that 80% of respondents took part in. The time-saving factor, cited by 56%, came at No. 1, outranking ease of price comparison (46%), ease of finding deals (45%) and ease of researching reviews and saving money on gas, which were last at 32% each.

The main reasons shoppers gave for visiting a physical store were the ability to see product quality (56%), along with enjoying the experience (42%).

Additionally, more than half of respondents took part in omnichannel shopping, using more than one channel during their purchase journey. This was highest among Millennials (65%), followed closely by Gen Z (63%). Meanwhile, about half as many Boomers (33%) embraced omnichannel shopping.

The Near/Centiment survey titled “The Great Generational Shopping Divide,” polled 2,048 consumers, weighted by age, gender and geography, between July 7 and 19.

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