They’re influencing the purchasing behaviours of all consumers and forcing businesses to develop new strategies to stay relevant. So who are they and how can your business give them what they want? It’s time to get to know the next generation of shoppers…
WHO ARE THEY
Nicknamed as the first generation of ‘true digital natives’, members of Gen Z have been exposed to the internet, social networks and mobile systems from youth.
Born between roughly 1995 to 2010, this generation is hypercognitive and very comfortable with cross-referencing across multiple sources of information.
They effortlessly integrate virtual and offline experiences and are far more pragmatic and analytical than previous generations when it comes to decision making.
Gen Z possesses a sophisticated filter that comes from growing up surrounded by a deluge of information. So you’ll only have a few seconds to convince them that your ad, blog post, etc is worth their time. But once you have their attention and approval, their word of mouth support is worth its weight in gold.
WHY THEY MATTER
This year, Gen Z is expected to account for 40% of all customers. They are quite literally becoming the most influential consumer group out there.
One expert says “Generation Z is one of the most powerful consumer forces in the market today. Their buying power is $44 billion and expands to $600 billion when considering the influence they have on their parents’ spending.”
It’s essential to connect with Gen Z because for the first time ever, young people are defining what’s cool, not just for other young people, but for everyone else too.
63% of Gen Zers consider friend recommendations as their most trusted source for learning about products and brands.
WHY THEY BUY
In general, they place a high value on individual identity, reject stereotypes, and want to align themselves with a variety of causes and interest-based communities.
They buy as a means of self-expression and prefer consumption as: access rather than possession ie. Netflix vs DVDs; an expression of individuality, and as a matter of ethical concern.
In order to reach Gen Z, your business must rethink how to deliver value, be inclusive, rebalance mass production with personalisation and practice what you preach. Authenticity, connection and community are key!
Engaging Gen Z: Consider creating platforms of products, services and experiences that connect customers around brands both online and in person. An omnichannel marketing strategy is imperative because for consumers who are always and everywhere online, the online–offline boundary doesn’t exist.
Gen Z are forcing companies to think bigger, do better and value-add on a human rights level. They crave connection, demand inclusivity and expect more from brands. And it’s up to us to rise to the challenge. Are you ready for the next generation?