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Jillian Voege

The Importance of Free Shipping for Generation Z

by Jillian Voege
Happy women holding shopping bags

Teens have always been a powerful force behind consumer trends. Whether it’s apparel, electronics, or food, capturing the attention of our current generation of teens and tweens (named Centennials or Generation Z, depending on which publication you read) is a surefire way to get a spike in your revenue. The twist with this generation of teens is that they’re more technologically savvy and connected than ever. Not only that, but traditional ways of building brand loyalty - loyalty programs, gift cards, store credits - aren’t as effective in building loyalty with teen customers.

If teens start buying from your brand, one thing you can do to engender brand loyalty is a smoother shopping experience. A study by Ernst & Young polling 400 teens highlighted what today’s teens prioritize when shopping online:

  • 80% of teens prioritize free shipping and delivery.
  • 77% want special sales or discounts.
  • 50% prefer a flexible return policy.

This generation of teens is a magnification of all the trends that we’ve seen through the last few years. Free shipping is becoming an expectation as opposed to a luxury. Sending promotions and discounts through emails and social media is still the most reliable way to spike demand and raise conversions. Return policies are going to be a differentiator between brands, especially for those who sell apparel or jewelry.

If your products become popular with the young generation, it can mean huge growth for your business. However, that growth will only be realized if you cater to their expectations. Today’s teens want less barriers to buy, exchange, and return. Finding ways to reduce the costs of free shipping and returned products will help you maintain customer-friendly policies that capture and keep the attention of "Generation Z".