The Future is Gen Z
Generation Z is prepping for the real world. They are ready for new opportunities, new ideas, new lifestyles, and new products.
Generational differences are becoming more and more evident in a time of increasing technological and cultural innovations and changes.
Gen Z includes anyone born after 1996, making them ages 23 and younger. The key differentiator that makes the Gen Z shopper unique is their deep understanding and usage of modern technology. They grew up with their smartphones, so what can you expect?
These are the individuals graduating from college, entering the real world with buying power, and bringing new ideas and lifestyles to the table. Gen Z currently holds over $140 billion in spending power and will account for about 40% of global consumers this year.
Who is Gen Z?
Gen Z tends to be heavily influenced, whether it’s by parents, friends, or the media. They are emotionally driven and are looking for things that appeal to a certain mood or state of mind. They want to feel good about their purchases. Brands with a social cause or ethically made products are extremely appealing to Gen Z shoppers.
Gen Z is in the process of discovering themselves and seeking their purpose. Being no older than 23, these individuals have quite a bit left to figure out. They are open to trying new products and experiences; they aren’t brand loyal yet, so retailers and brands have a major opportunity to develop these key relationships now and set the foundation for long-term loyalty.
If there’s one thing we know about Gen Z, it’s that they know their way around a smartphone. They grew up surrounded by technology, and they are likely going to use these resources to find whatever it is that they are searching for: from shampoo to frozen meals to clothing and everything in between.
What are the priorities of the Gen Z shopper?
The priorities of the Gen Z consumer could be simplified to four key characteristics: value, price, authenticity, and convenience. If retailers want to win over Gen Z, they need to make sure their brands are meeting these needs.
1. Value is the unique benefit of using a product or service.
Gen Z is looking for how a product can help them thrive. If you can provide some sort of social, economic, or personal advantage, you might capture their attention. They are also sensitive to trends which is often reflected in their purchases.
2. Price is a key influencer of Gen Z.
The oldest members of Gen Z are possibly graduating college or entering the workforce and quickly learning the limitations of their budget. 33.5% of Gen Z tends to care more about how the product is priced over the brand name. They are learning to budget and spend wisely, so it’s important for retailers to present fair prices in order to gain the attention (and long-term loyalty) of Gen Z.
3. Authenticity comes down to genuine branding, genuine customer relationships, and genuine products or services.
It’s all about the way your brand communicates their “why”. If Gen Z is looking for their purpose, they are drawn to purpose-driven brands. It’s important for brands to express who they are and why they do what they do. Do you cultivate a culture of individuality, equality, and kindness? Does you have a relatable and inspiring founder’s story? Gen Z wants to know who they’re working with. Clearly communicating your story and what you stand for is an essential way to build trust with these consumers.
4. The final characteristic that is extremely important to Gen Z is convenience.
How quickly can I have your product in my hands? Gen Z has cultivated a lifestyle based on convenient options. They appreciate efficiency. But it’s not just about digital – Gen Z shoppers expect an omnichannel experience. Studies show that Gen Z will often shop and research online but purchase in-store. It is essential that products have a unified omnichannel presence across all mediums.
What Can Your Brand Do to “Win” Them Over?
As Gen Z emerges into the retail world, brands will win through an authentic and convenient omnichannel experience.
Gen Z is best reached via social media or digital media marketing. They mostly browse through online mobile devices and social media, which includes web browsers such as Google Chrome and sites such as Instagram (1). They are also independent shoppers. They research before they buy, read reviews, and conduct their own evaluations of brands. Gen Z’s second most trusted source for product referrals is reviews on Amazon and other online retailers.
If you’re able to capture their attention digitally and provide a physical space for them to shop, you’re likely going to gain their loyalty. An authentic shopping experience—the sounds, the feel, the aesthetic of a store—is something they look forward to. Gen Z wants to experience comfort in the physical space, and they want to experience the freedom of saying “Sure, I’ll go to the store and shop,” or “No, I think I’ll just check out their website today.”
Marketing to Gen Z
When it comes to how to market to these individuals, it’s important to remember the values of authenticity and convenience. Trust facilitates brand loyalty. Therefore, brands must share their stories in a genuine way. Share background, share case studies, post customer reviews to your social media.Make them feel comfortable and provide convenient options to access your product.
The time is now to engage, appeal to, and win over the Gen Z shopper. As more of Gen Z enters the workforce, their attention and their mobile payments are up for grabs.
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(1) Data obtained from Numerator Psychographics > Shopping > Private Label General Perceptions and Shopping Attitudes