18 to 24 year olds, known as Generation Z, are now less loyal to brands compared to those aged over 55, according to new research by SiteCore.

The survey of over 2,000 Irish consumers reveals that a year of online shopping has raised the bar for digital experiences among 18 to 24 year olds.

73% of this group say they have become less patient with poor online experiences since the pandemic, while 72% will log off a site if they can't find what they need in just a few clicks.

Four in ten of this age group say having a free delivery option is most important to them when shopping online, followed by fast delivery.

However, the research shows that this group is least satisfied with the speed of delivery, with just 57% satisfied, compared to 68% among older generations.

When restrictions ease and shops begin to reopen, the research suggests that some younger people will shun in-store shopping altogether.

60% of 18 to 24 year olds say they don't miss in-store shopping as much as they thought they would, compared to 43% of over 55s.

As Generation Z now accounts for around 40% of consumers globally, the study suggests that the pressure is increasing for brands to win over this customer base and meet their expectations.

Paige O'Neill, Chief Marketing Officer of Sitecore, said the research suggests that shopping habits formed throughout the pandemic are here to stay.

"If brands are to win over Generation Z, who represent the future of their customer base, they must create personalised digital experiences to cut through the competition," she said.

"If they don't impress fast, they risk being "cancelled" and losing loyalty overnight," she added.