Ecommerce has become a critical element of a successful business in today’s marketplace. In fact, a recent Squarespace study of more than 2,000 U.S. adults revealed that people of all ages agree that an online presence is more important than a physical brick-and-mortar location for companies.
Younger generations, specifically Gen Z and millennials, take that even further, believing that their online first impressions are more important than their real-world ones. Sixty percent of Gen Z respondents and 62% of millennials said they believe how a person presents themselves online is more important than how they present themselves in person. This is a significant leap from 38% of Gen X and 29% of baby boomers who participated.
Regardless of priority levels, digital has become a ubiquitous part of everyday life for everyone. Two-thirds (66%) of Americans reported travel as the most important use of online research. Not surprisingly, Gen Z has been the strongest adapter of digital, reporting that they are most likely (92%) to multitask while eating (59%), listening to music (59%), talking on the phone (45%) or dancing (28%).
It makes sense that this digital first impression holds such high importance when considering that majority of younger generations (86% of Gen Z and 79% of millennials) look people up before meeting them for the first time in person. Older generations do this as well, but to a lesser degree, including 65% of Gen X and 44% of baby boomers.
This digital first impression extends to purchases as well. Majority of Gen X (64%), millennials (76%) and Gen Z (64%), and almost half of all baby boomers (49%) look up the websites of businesses before shopping or eating there. A well-designed website, 70% of respondents said, made them more likely to shop in person.
Up and coming generations are also leaning more entrepreneurial. Of Gen Z, 92% said they would like to start their own business, with preference for selling a service over a physical product.