Last time a new generation came into play in the retail world, a lot had to change to accommodate to Millennials' needs. The change wasn’t easy but it came together. Now, the Gen Zers are shaking up the market, which means a new wave of change is required.
Gen Zers ages can be defined as an overall cohort as 7 to 21-year-olds. But for the sake of the world of retail, this article will be focusing on the individuals, within that group, with purchasing power.
Overall, Gen Zers have always lived in the internet world and don’t know one without. So their shopping preferences will naturally be located there. Apart from this no-brainer, there are a few things Retailers should know in order attract and seduce Gen Zers.
Online shopping is the norm thanks to the speed and convenience that is the internet.
Amazon has been polled as the n° 1 online shopping platform for this generation. This is because of the delivery speed, and free delivery fee. The speed seems to be the most important aspect to Gen Zers shoppers according multinational data from Accenture in 2017. It states that 58% are willing to pay more than $5 for 1 hour deliveries.
But speed isn’t limited to deliveries. Speed should be applied in other areas of the business as well. For instance, the rotation of products innovation. Driven by more agile suppliers and super-power K.O.L., Gen Zers are curious and fast to embrace trends that are important to them. And They are much more meticulous when it comes to shopping. That means they know what they want when they step foot into a store, physical or online. If the shop does not have the product they're looking for, they won’t buy its substitute. Stores need to follow trends and make sure their ranges are up-to-date (and with products in-stock of course)
Speed is also linked to the whole buying process, especially finding information on a product as well as easy payment methods or enrolment to Loyalty Programs. They have a powerful search engine in their pockets and the quicker they can get access to a product’s information, the more chances the opportunity to buy exist. Information emphasizes reliability.
Which brings us to social media. Being active online is also linked to the speed. Whether it is posting as soon as there’s a new product, or even the plan of making a new product. Gen Zers want a real interaction with the brands they are buying from to reinforce the reliability of the brand. So Loyalty Community Managers, be warned.
As stated before, online presence is important. Most successful retailers already know that Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok are the preferred social media platforms for Gen Zers.
However, ads on those platforms need to have a certain level of authenticity. ‘Wanderlust + Co', a jewelry brand, can be taken as a great example. This brand often uses pictures or videos by their clients who post their products on their personal Instagram stories. They mention the brand and the brand reposts it on their company’s story, giving them a certain level of authenticity that Gen Zers are looking for. One might think it is just a marketing exploitation of Gen Zer addiction to social media – but it wouldn’t if the need didn’t exist. The authenticity is built by real testimonials of others and facilitated by the Brand.
Authenticity lies also in the quality of the product. Gen Zers even tend to prefer vintage hand-me-downs and thrift shops because of its affordability but also because of, once again, reliability. Fast fashion for them is becoming a thing of the past because it is something that wouldn’t last. They are willing to pay a little bit extra if it is a sustainable product. Investing time in doing research on sustainable products in order to help the world would therefore not be a waste of time and would grant benefits to a business. A sustainable product is a product of quality.
This means that they are ready to go to physical stores to find that authenticity. This is because the interaction between client and brand is important for Gen Zers. Businesses have always needed the CRM approach. And with Gen Zers, the Customer Relationship is even more sought-out for. And the Relationship aspects count at least as much as the promotion aspect. There’s a need for a relationship between brand and customer, not just sales.
3. Physical Store Experience
Despite the stereotype of Gen Zers living in the internet world, their shopping preference lies outside of it. According to a survey by A.T. Kearny, 81% of Gen Z prefers to shop in stores, and 73% like to discover new products in stores. The main reason for that is because it allows them to disconnect from the online world, because this generation is more focused on health both mental and physical (which means they tend to buy wellness products) as stated in Jasmin Wu’s article
What makes an enjoyable in store experience is as simple as having a good functioning store, from arrival to product finding to delivery.
The in-store experience can be anything from signature scent of the store, to decor and lighting.The experience must be a memorable one because it allows for the Gen Zers to do what they are there for; detach themselves from social media. They are looking for a pleasant interaction with Products and Brands. Gen Zers tend to be very demanding in terms on service, environment and aesthetics, product selections, price transparencies. Measurements and metrics are definitely needed to capture their shopping patterns and reactions to special offers. Collaboration between retailers and brands is to jointly work on addressing Genzer needs is a must.
Don’t worry, HPTC can help you with all of that with our Digital Transformation tools, all the while saving time and money.
HPT Consulting is the leading Digital Transformation platform for Retailers in South East Asia.. We help Category Managers Retail Analysts, Sales Manager, and Senior Managers organize, structure, enrich their data, and automate their business processes to take better decisions and actions for their consumers and shoppers.