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60% of Gen Z, Millennials Want to Buy Clothing From a Vending Machine

Millennial and Gen 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 percent of millennials and 29 percent of Gen Z shoppers said they’d be willing to spend more at these unorthodox shopping channels if non-traditional products were offered. By contrast, only 26 percent of Gen X and 16 percent 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 percent of millennials and 59 percent of Gen Z respondents said they would be willing to buy clothing and accessories through those channels, and 54 percent of Gen X and 45 percent 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 become an everyday way of life, particularly with younger generations who are most willing to buy more and spend more when using them,” Maeve McKenna Duska, chief marketing officer for USA Technologies, said.

“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 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 percent of Gen Z, 55 percent of millennials, 52 percent of Gen X and 42 percent 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 percent of respondents weighing in against it, while 27 percent of Gex X, 38 percent of millennials and 35 percent 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 percent saying they looked forward to trying it out. Just 20 percent of millennials, 17 percent of Gen X and 12 percent of seniors and Baby Boomers said the same.