Aptos, a leader in unified commerce solutions, today announced the findings of its 2023 Golden Quarter Consumer Survey. The report found that the majority of Gen Z shoppers plan to spend more or the same on Christmas gifts compared to last year and that visiting stores during the festive period is a top priority. 

The survey of 2,000 UK consumers aged 16 to 26 was conducted in October 2023 and sought to identify the shopping habits and preferences of older Gen Z shoppers during the Golden Quarter, the peak retail sales period that runs from October through December. 

Currently, Gen Z is recognised as ages 11 through 26. As this demographic gets older and gains more disposable income, they have become a key audience for retailers to engage.


Notable takeaways from the survey include:

  • Eighty percent of the Gen Z survey respondents plan to spend more than or the same as last year on Christmas gifts.
  • Despite being digital natives, 88% plan to visit a physical store during the Christmas shopping period. Special in-store events and festive decorations, lights and displays were cited as some of the top draws of stores during the Golden Quarter.    
  • Just 12% of those surveyed started Christmas shopping prior to October. Almost three-quarters (72%) of their Christmas shopping will take place in November and December. 

The report also explores Gen Z’s expectations for in-store experiences and omnichannel cohesion:  

  • Click and collect: More than two-thirds (68%) of the survey respondents plan to use click and collect during the festive shopping period. When consumers enter stores for collection, this provides retailers with significant opportunities to encourage additional purchases. 
  • Sales assistants: The availability and helpfulness of shop assistants was listed as one of the most critical elements of a positive in-store experience. This reinforces the role that staff play in differentiating and enhancing the store experience and, during the festive period, in helping shoppers find the right gifts. 
  • Stock availability and checkout experiences: Not surprisingly, when Gen Z shoppers make a trip to a store, they expect a good range of stock and on-shelf availability. They also have no patience for waiting in long queues, emphasising the importance of speedy checkouts as well as returns.   

 Delivering retail magic this Christmas

Zaki Hassan, General Manager of EMEA and APAC at Aptos, said: “Gen Z hasn’t known a world without pervasive digital technology, and yet the physical store is still a major draw this festive period. As shoppers of all ages seek out stores – during the Golden Quarter and year-round – retailers are tasked with reinventing their stores for a modern, channel-agnostic age.

“At Aptos, our goal is to help retailers knock down walls between their offline and online retail operations to promote a better experience for shoppers whilst simultaneously ensuring higher profitability for themselves. The ability to deliver unified commerce is what enables the kind of memorable experiences that Gen Z and others crave.”

Click here to download Aptos’ 2023 Golden Quarter Consumer Survey, “Why Gen Z wants real-world retail magic this Christmas”.