In-store shopping tops online retail among young Australian consumers: Survey

Xenia Tan | Special to CNBC
Where Gen Z wants to shop

Young consumers in Australia are going back to the basics, according to an annual report released Wednesday.

The report from AMP Capital Shopping Centers showed that these teenage and early-20s buyers said shopping centers are "delivering an offer that you can't get online," according to Mark Kirkland, managing director of AMP Capital.

Titled "A to Gen Z: Shopping with the Future Generation," the report is based on an online survey of about 1,700 Generation-Z shoppers (defined as those aged 17 to 22) across Australia and New Zealand. It found that 87 percent of respondents in Australia "like or love" shopping in stores compared to 79 percent who said they "like or love" to shop online.

That finding may come as a surprise given the oft-cited shift towards e-commerce.

"What we've experienced from that is that the uptake of online has actually been slower than what we originally anticipated four or five years ago," Kirkland told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday.

The reason for that change is Gen Zs "want to be able touch and feel the product, they want to be able to talk to the sales assistants and get that extra piece of advice. And they want to treat it as a social transaction with their friends."

However, that does not imply the downfall of online retailers. In fact, Kirkland said he believes it should be "business as usual." He added that these future shoppers still head online to research potential purchases before going "to the [shopping] centers to make that decision."

Retailers need to "understand their customers and add that additional in-store experience" as well as to enhance it "with a good online experience so that the two can blend together in a fantastic omnichannel offer."

"Retail is something that's constantly changing, we always need to be evolving to stay on market trends," he said.

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