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Millennials and Gen Zers Make the Case for Buying Clothes From This Unexpected Place

Millennial and Generation Z consumers are over having to talk to other humans in the pursuit of fashion and beauty.

According to a joint study from PYMNTS and USA Technologies, younger generations are interested in shopping “unattended” retail channels like vending machines and kiosks.

Of 2,300 people surveyed across the U.S., 35% of millennials and 29% of Gen Z shoppers said they’d be willing to spend more at these unorthodox shopping channels if nontraditional products were offered. By contrast, only 26% of Generation X and 16% of seniors and baby boomers said the same.

All generations ranked health and beauty products as the items they’d be most likely to purchase through vending machines or kiosks. However, 61% of millennials and 59% of Gen Z respondents said they would also be willing to buy clothing and accessories through those channels, and 54% of Gen X and 45% of seniors and baby boomers agreed.

“Our joint report with PYMNTS underscores not only the size of the unattended channels, but the expectations of consumers that unattended retail [will] become an everyday way of life, particularly with younger generations who are most willing to buy more and spend more when using them,” said Maeve McKenna Duska, chief marketing officer for USA Technologies.

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“We believe this presents a unique opportunity for retailers to not only offload high-touch tasks, such as key cutting, to kiosks which enable store employees to focus on higher-value tasks,” she added, “but [also to] expand their footprint outside of the store through vending machines and kiosks, increasing opportunities for revenue while simplifying purchasing for consumers.”

The survey also accounted for the reasons that consumers of all age cohorts were driven to use unattended retail options in the past. Speed of use was the prevailing response, with 33% of Gen Z, 55% of millennials, 52% of Gen X and 42% of seniors and boomers ranking it as their top reason.

However, not having to talk to employees was also a palatable concept for all parties surveyed. Gen Z dreads human interaction most, with 41% of respondents weighing in against it, while 27% of Gex X, 38% of millennials and 35% of seniors and boomers also voted for machines over people.

Only Gen Z respondents ranked the enjoyment of using new technology as important, with 37% saying they looked forward to trying it out. Just 20% of millennials, 17% of Gen X and 12% of seniors and baby boomers said the same.

Editor’s Note: This story was reported by FN sister magazine Sourcing Journal. For more, visit Sourcingjournal.com.

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