Gen Z Attitudes Define the Future of Shopping

Millennials were born as the first digital generation, and the media have played upon the need to accommodate millennial preferences. As the most tech-savvy demographic group in the formative years of the internet and the heirs apparent to top-level jobs in today’s marketplace, millennials have been the biggest target of the marketing world. That’s changing rapidly as Gen Z comes of age.

 

Gen Z Takes Technology in Stride

Unlike Gen Xers, baby boomers and millennials, Gen Zers were born into digital culture, and they consider advanced technology as their birthright. They’re not particularly impressed by 24/7 shopping availability, apps that perform complex options or branded products at discount prices. The incredible variety of products and fast delivery service of Amazon are considered standard fare.

Gen Z embraces the best of digital, brick-and-mortar and hybrid operations. If you want to appeal to Gen Z, you might want to plan for the future now. A recent article posted in Forbes.com highlights these preferences of Gen Z shoppers: [1]

 

Brick-and-mortar Stores Aren’t Dead

Young entrepreneurs from Gen Z are rediscovering the benefits of offering niche products and shopping venues for their peers. Successful retailers put a lot of research into product development and creating an appealing retail experience. Many of these physical stores are opened by people who built their businesses online and are expanding to meet the interactive demands of tech-savvy young people.

 

Gen Zers Move Confidently Between Real-world and Digital Venues

Gen Zers use a combination of digital tech and real-world shopping interchangeably. It’s not unusual for young people to use their smartphones in physical stores to lead them directly to the right shelf for a product that they want. Gen Zers usually research a product online before they visit a store. They go to stores for social interaction and meeting like-minded people who shop in specialty stores. Stores allow customers to hold products in their hands and get the pleasure of taking something home immediately.

 

Gen Z Willingly Shops Across Channels

Gen Z is less impressed with branded products and are happy with direct-to-consumer brands. These often provide higher quality levels than products produced for the masses. Young people in Gen Z are willing to take the time to look for what they want instead of settling for lowest-common-denominator products at sites like Amazon.

 

Social Shopping Transcends the Shopping Experience

Teenagers use social networks and their phones religiously. They use social platforms to post wish lists and share their lists and shopping experiences with friends. Those who shop in physical stores enjoy the opportunity to share with friends, shop together and contact friends remotely for advice when making important buying decisions.

 

The Future of Retail Sales

Appealing to teenagers is crucial for success in retail sales – for both digital and brick-and-mortar operations. For the next 10 to 20 years, teenagers will become the biggest spending group. If you want to succeed in retail, you need to understand how sales have changed. Some of the biggest changes that retailers should make include:

 

Delivering Value

Consumers – especially young ones – carry super-computing smartphones in their pockets everywhere. There are many ways for retail companies to deliver value to people who are always connected to their friends and the internet.

 

Creating Digital Experiences

Creative companies can attract Gen Z by using technology to enhance guerrilla marketing, connect with passersby and encourage brick-and-mortar customers to use their phones for incentives and messages while visiting the store.

 

Offering Pickup and Delivery Service

Saving time is a universal benefit even for people who spend time window-shopping. You can find out who has the coolest displays. Making it easy for customers is critical. Some ideas for saving consumers time include picking grocery orders for customer to pick up at the store. Delivery is also appreciated for products as varied as food from restaurants and medications from pharmacies, which is another growing segment of the retail market.

 

Engaging Customers on Their Digital Devices

Successful digital marketers already understand the value of engaging their customers online, but why stop there? You can engage customers at brick-and-mortar stores just as easily on their devices. You can offer special incentives, answer questions about products, make recommendations and deliver a personalized experience.

 

Shepherding People Through an Interactive Experience

More and more companies provide interactive shopping experiences to help shoppers find the perfect gift. During this process, companies can begin learning more about Gen Z and how to market appealing products to them. Interactive experiences not only build loyalty but also generate valuable marketing data.

 

Make Way for Gen Z

Gen Z already spends $44 billion annually. [2] Attracting this demographic segment is the key to successful e-commerce.

This generation doesn’t remember a time when digital technology wasn’t available. They love to shop online and in stores, but they want to use their phones to streamline either process.

Gen Z typically spends their free time on the internet: 74 percent of respondents in one study said that they spend 5 or more hours on the internet daily. About 73 percent use their phones as their primary communication method to engage friends and family. [2]

 

Brave New World for Shopping

When Gen Zers shop, they want a personalized experience and digital interaction with the companies where they shop. If you don’t provide an interactive experience – online or in physical stores – you can’t be competitive in this brave new world. Interactive ideas might include tailoring responses to questions based on browsing habits, buying history, season and budget limits.

Engaging technologies are essential to attract Gen Z. Smartphones have changed the shopping dynamic across the board. Gen Zers can use their phones to simplify shopping online and in physical stores to find something different and share their buying experience with friends.

Millennials give way to Gen Z reluctantly as every generation does, but the writing is on the proverbial wall. Hoverboards have lost their appeal because many caught fire, and Millennials have traded them for sensible vehicles and car seats for kids. Gen Z is larger than the Millennial generation – about 60 million in the United States and 2.6 billion globally – and their preferences will define marketing strategy for the next two decades. [3]

 

References:

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2019/05/02/what-gen-z-can-teach-retailers-about-the-future-of-shopping/#a8374367c15e
[2] https://longitudes.ups.com/move-over-millennials-generation-z-is-retailers-next-big-buying-group/
[3] https://www.retaildive.com/news/how-generation-z-is-transforming-the-shopping-experience/438194/