Meet Gen-Z: The Future of Retail and How to Reach Them
Updated: May 18
To truly understand the future of retail—we must seek answers from the very generation who will hold the purchasing power in a few years. Generation Z. Not to be confused with millennials, Generation Z or Gen-Z are the people born between 1997 -2012. This demographic group contains young individuals with the oldest of them being at the age of 25 years old currently.
Although being young, Gen-Z has a powerful presence in the retail space. To stay relevant and to thrive, your business must keep pace with them. They were born in the era of peak technological innovations—An era where all their questions are instantly answered by google. Gen-Z has hyper cognitive abilities that enable them to collect, comprehend and reference information quickly from multiple resources. Understanding them can make a monumental difference for your business 10 years down the road.
5 Core Characteristics of Gen-Z
1) They have different values
Before buying any product or service, we think of mainly two things—overall price and quality. That's the case with the previous generations. Today how a consumer decides a product or a service is worth their investment is not based on mere two things. The deciding factor becomes multidimensional. These factors that add to the equation are social media influence, social status, societal values, etc. Gen-Z looks beyond tangible products and takes an interest in knowing your company. Resonate with them. Humanize your brand they can vouch for.
2) They lack patience
They are the ones who get frustrated even if your app or website glitches for a few seconds. Gen-Z is known for its low attention span. It is estimated to be 8 seconds. Almost every app or social media platform competes for this small time range to capture their attention. So how do you win their attention? By literally providing everything they want instantly. Retailers should provide apps that offer a faster shopping experience. The end goal is to prevent them from switching to other alternatives. For them, that's a better option than waiting any longer.
3) They have higher expectations
Gen-Z are critical thinkers who have higher expectations when it comes to buying experience. It is no secret that they have a heavy social media presence. They use these platforms to Read reviews, compare ratings, and value. Retailers must adapt to this and create a unique marketing strategy accordingly. Gen-Z is also called a Snapchat generation. Many retail brands like Sephora, Burberry, Warby Parker are monetizing this opportunity by actively creating content on Snapchat.
4) They are influencers
The influence power gen-Z holds doesn’t just apply to the people in their age group. They can influence older and younger generations to them. Gen z children can influence their parents' buying decisions as well. As a retailer, you can use this to your advantage to increase sales. Many of the influencers on social media can pursue their audience to buy products they create content on.
5) They are financially careful
Gen-Z preaches stability that comes with conservative spending, smart investments, and secure jobs. Many of them consider themselves price-conscious shoppers. Pragmatism and security drives them. This comes as a surprise to many because we see Gen-Z as a younger naive generation with crazy spending habits. In reality, it's quite the opposite. Although there are many complex factors, price and quality come in the top five factors for all the generations.
How to Earn Gen-Z’s Trust on Your Brand
Step-1: Choose the Right Medium
It is important to note that Gen-Z is a diverse group. You need to identify which of the Gen-Z are your consumers. Are they teenagers or young adults? Which platform do they spend the most screen time on? Then you can target and invest in a social media platform you find the most consumer potential in. Analyze and learn how you can reach out to them. Find touchpoints and create content based on these.
Step-2: Communicate and Customize
Being able to customize your products and cater to personal needs can increase your sales regardless of whether you have a small business or a big enterprise. Addressing your consumers' concerns at the right time is paramount. Social media is a great way to find out about your customer’s pain points and create a solution accordingly.
Step-3: Be quick
Generation Z values speed and ease of availability the most. They do not like to wait. Try to find areas where your consumer faces the most problems to deliver a seamless end-to-end service. Remember it only takes seconds for them to switch to a quicker alternative. Faster and instant is the way to win Gen-Z!