For a while now, all the talk in retail and marketing has been geared toward millennials – and while they make up a good portion of consumers, there’s another generation close behind that you’ll want to start paying attention to - Gen Z.
If you feel like you’ve just started to master the shopping habits of millennials, you might be confused about how they’re different from Gen Z. Here are some tidbits to keep in mind:
- Gen Z represents those born in 1995 or later.
- They’re already a huge part of the population – nearly 30 percent. By 2020, they’ll represent one-third of the total population in the United States.
- Their spending power will reach over $200 billion by 2018
This is a group of consumers who have grown up with the latest technology at their complete advantage. While millennials (for the most part) didn’t experience the major boom in technology as children with iPhones and social media, Gen Z has grown up with it completely. This makes a serious difference in how to approach and appeal to them in stores.
Are you ready for Gen Z? Here’s how you can take their unique perspectives and translate them into local success for your brand.
They have shorter attention spans
Gen Z comes from a world where short videos on Snapchat or snippets of information on Instagram or Twitter pass by at the speed of light – continuous updates and upgrades are going on, which means they don’t get bored because things change constantly.
This translates into retail by offering a wide selection of goods. Gen Z isn’t as loyal or dedicated to staying inside any one box – and retailers are working around this by providing variety within a single setting. Whether it’s fashion or skincare, Gen Z likes to mix-and-match high end and affordable options at the same time, so diversity in a product range is key to getting noticed.
Stores with a vast number of brands – like Sephora and Ulta – are also popular because they give Gen Z shoppers plenty of freedom to select products that fit their personal needs. No longer does a one-size-fits-all approach work for consumers, so retail stores experiencing success are ones that offer several brands in the same space and a wide selection of prices. They also remove the old barriers by encouraging shoppers to stay and play. Makeovers, services, and education are other ways that these retailers are getting their customers to stay longer and spend more.
Shopping is no longer just shopping
Mall shopping has become a thing of the past. Now, a successful shopping trip is one that encompasses experiences. ‘Pop-Up’ shops are doing this well – they create hype surrounding a limited engagement opening, and they bring together entertainment or exclusive events that appeal to shoppers – it’s more of an outing with purchased goods as the cherry on top.
Another advantage to creating experiences like this is because Gen Z likes to share…a lot. These digital natives are on Instagram sharing Stories or Snapchat, discussing products and swapping beauty tips with each other. Smart brands are looking for this content to engage with their consumers and pull them into the brand story.
The immersive experience isn’t just limited to pop-ups and retail stores, either. Websites also need to be more consumer friendly. Your site should be more than an inventory of products; it must offer valuable content to visitors through editorial blogs, interactive shopping recommendations, user-generated content or curated lists that make it even easier for Gen Z shoppers to find what they want or need.
The usual way of selling goods isn’t enough anymore – there needs to be a story or curated description that appeals and engages Gen Z shoppers, as well as millennials. While millennials crave experiences over product, Gen Z wants both, but with an emphasis on product quality.
Online Shopping isn’t Everything
For the last decade or so, shoppers flocked online to get shopping done on websites like Amazon. Avoiding stores at all costs was much more appealing – but now, Gen Z shoppers are changing things up! They are more likely to shop in-store, testing and trying products on before making a purchase. As one of the largest demographics in spending, retail stores will want to pay attention to these Gen Z shopping habits and entice shoppers to come in and make purchases.
These consumers also place a lot of value on being more global, given that they’ve had the entire world at their fingertips nearly their whole life. They are saving for travel experiences or shopping for global sustainably made goods. They have many more options when shopping, which allows them to be discerning on how they spend their money – great for brands around the world who want to tap into any market!
Gen Z shoppers are changing the landscape when it comes to retail – and because they spend so much time on their devices, brands need to invest in standing out and staying evergreen.