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Younger Shoppers Fuelling High Street Revival

23 January 2019 - 11:25 by Sarah Collinson

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While bricks-and-mortar retail has suffered a number of setbacks in recent years, a new survey from Conversant has shown that the under-35s could actually be helping to keep real-world stores afloat thanks to their e-commerce habits.

Specifically, the report revealed that because Millennials and Gen-Z consumers are happy to browse the web and carry out safe shopping online from their smartphones, they are increasingly compelled to do so while out and about at physical outlets.

78 per cent of people who fall into these age categories that were questioned in the study said that they regularly make e-commerce purchases and look for the best prices and offers while also visiting the high street.

Analysts believe that as a result of this there will not be a point at which footfall in physical stores completely evaporates. There is still a desire amongst younger consumers to visit shops in person; they just prefer to do so while also having their phones on hand to help with the decision-making process.

The practice of ‘showrooming’, where shoppers visit stores to see products in person before buying online, is a long-established feature of the modern retail landscape. It is set to become even more popular as a result of this trend emerging amongst upcoming generations.

Industry insiders believe that retailers should now be compelled to do more to encourage this pastime and ultimately cater to the needs of consumers who are likely to be using their mobiles while browsing in person.

There are a number of ways for businesses to accommodate this trend, with things like in-store Wi-Fi connectivity and click and collect services being seen as crucial. This will mean that those customers that do want to buy online can get the same immediacy of an in-store purchase.