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Gen Z & Millennials 19 Favorite Places to Shop—Online or Off

While the majority of young consumers say they prefer to shop in-person, their favorite place to shop tells a different story…

In the battle of online and offline shopping, it’s a close race. When we ask if they would, in general, rather shop online or in a physical store, 13-37-year-olds are nearly split, with 55% saying they would prefer to shop in store and 45% saying they would prefer to shop online. Among males, the divide is 50/50. At the same time, the majority of 13-37-year-olds agree with the statement, “No matter what stores do to make visiting more interesting, I am still going to shop online for many things.” And while they may say they prefer to shop in-person, the store at the top of the ranking of their all-time favorite places to shop tells us another story.

In our most recent shopping and fashion survey, we pitted online and offline stores against one another when we asked 13-37-year-olds “What is your favorite place to shop, whether online or off?”* Their top responses say a lot about the retail trends that Gen Z and Millennials are fueling:

Their Favorite Place to Shop, Online or Off


      1. Amazon
      2. Target
      3. Walmart
      4. Ebay
      5. Forever 21
      6. Thrift store / Goodwill
      7. H&M
      8. American Eagle
      9. Kohl’s
      10. TJ Maxx
      11. Macy´s
      12. Best Buy
      13. Fashion Nova
      14. Nordstrom Rack
      15. HomeGoods
      16. Nike
      17. Ross
      18. Uniqlo
      19. Costco

Amazon isn’t just young consumers’ favorite place to shop online—it’s at the top of their favorite places to shop whether online or off. Convenience, variety of products, not having to leave the house to shop, and fast shipping were all common reasons that respondents shared. One 28-year-old male explained, “They truly have everything you need.” Even negative press about the company can’t stop many from enjoying shopping on Amazon, with a 28-year-old female telling us “I know Amazon’s evil, but still!” Amazon was at the top of the ranking for males, females, Gen Z and Millennials. The fact is, though many say they prefer to shop in store, online shopping is also a favorite for them.

And the retail giant is also blurring the lines between online and offline shopping. Their app’s new “Shazaam for fashion” StyleSnap feature turns the whole world into a catalog, allowing users to upload an image or screenshot and get recommendations for similar products for purchase. Other retailers like ASOS, and Snapchat, have similar tools, but since Amazon is the top shopping app that young consumers report using, their version could take the tech mainstream.

Some may be surprised to see Forever 21 in the top 10 of this ranking, considering its current precarious position with young consumers, and rumors of bankruptcy swirling. Affordability, or “cheap prices,” were top of mind for those who named the store—indicating that it’s a favorite for those who have a budget in mind, and not necessarily because of the experience the retailer offers.