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Catching Some Zs: A Look at Generation Z Consumers | WMI

31 Mar 2017 Ann D'Adamo

in Media, Fashion, Digital

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Marketers, this is no time to sleep! Generation Z, today’s teens, is already having a major impact on the economy and emerging as a global consumer force. To engage the most digitally and socially active generation to date, brands need to step up their game…and fast. The oldest Gen Z’ers are on the cusp of adulthood and about to disrupt everything you thought you knew about marketing.

What’s Different About Gen Z?

Millennials are thrifty, careful shoppers, but Gen Z is much more impulsive. It may be due to their age, but 60% say they’ve made a purchase just because they randomly saw an item they liked. This is the “see now, buy now” generation—they see something they love and they want it—immediately. While Gen Z may shed that impulsiveness as they mature, it could also become ingrained as their discretionary spending power grows.

They Want to Score at the Store

Despite their desire for immediacy, sixty percent of Gen Z shoppers still prefer to purchase in-store and 46% will check out an item in-store before buying it online. Despite the perception that teens aren’t going to the mall, 77% of teens say that brick-and-mortar stores are their preferred shopping channel. Again, as they reach adulthood and have more access to credit, they may shift more spend online, but retailers have an opportunity to build loyalty by offering brand experiences at retail and across channels.

New Technology? Let’s Try It!

Hi Alexa…order more Doritos, please! New technology offers teens an ability to try new shopping methods—25% said they can’t wait to try voice-activated ordering and 10% are already doing it, while an additional 38% said they’re open to trying it.

Video at the Vanguard

This generation is all about visual content. YouTube is the most regularly used social media platform—84% of Gen Z’ers use the platform regularly, followed by Snapchat (72%), Facebook (68%), and Instagram (66%).

Social Shopping

Marketers have been using social to build brand awareness, but the shift to social shopping is happening – and Gen Z is driving it! Social is set to become a major direct shopping channel for Gen Z with 69% interested in purchasing directly from their social media streams. Additionally, 44% say that social is a source of inspiration, and 37% have significantly increased their use of social for purchase decision-making in the last year. There’s no question that beauty, fashion, and CPG brands will be among the beneficiaries of this shift.

Data by Design

Although Gen Z is more concerned about privacy than Millennials, they’re still willing to provide information to trusted brands in exchange for exclusive product information or discounts. And, used correctly, that info allows brands to provide a unique and personalized consumer experience. The fact that Gen Z shoppers are willing to share information on social and are open to new shopping methods is a real opportunity for retailers and brands to secure new data and get closer to this generation.

Influencing the Influencers

One would think Gen Zers spend so much time on their digital devices that their wardrobes would be primarily influenced by YouTube. But 68% of teens say they get their wardrobe inspiration from clothing they already own and like, and 43% say they get ideas from their friends. Still, the fashionable set still finds plenty of inspiration online—Instagram has emerged as the destination of choice for fashion ideas (44%) followed by Pinterest (36%), and brand or retailer websites 29%). Since this consumer is open to buying via social, we see a huge opportunity here, and, as their buying power increases, significant opportunity for growth.

Feedback Feeds Loyalty

Gen Z’s love feedback—both giving it and getting it! Although they’re still teenagers, 40% said they provide feedback to brands on social media or via product reviews. And they like to hear from brands—communicating with them through text messages, messenger apps, brand apps, and offering discounts or product previews  in exchange for feedback may be good strategies to build communication and loyalty. Social listening will also be critical for brands—responding quickly and positively will be key.

Getting closer to this emerging consumer will be a focus for forward-thinking brands. Learn more about this consumer by downloading our whitepaper, “Meet Your Next Consumer: Generation Z” or contact us to learn how our suite of marketing services can help your brand succeed in an increasingly crowded landscape.

Sources; Accenture, Gen Z and Millennials Leaving Older Shoppers and Many Retailers In Their Digital Dust 2017, Sourcing Journal Gen Z: Getting a Handle on the Newest, Youngest Shopper 2017, Fung Global Retail & Technology Gen Z and Beauty The Social Media Symbosis 2017

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