Generation Z, or Zoomers, forces businesses to perfect their efforts as it has been proven capable of radical and permanent impacts, not only on reputations, but on the survival and future of companies all together. Additionally, it is found that 63% of surveyed consumers said that recommendations from friends are their most trusted source for learning about products and brands. For this reason, it is crucial that brands maintain a healthy relationship with this new generation by appealing to their interests and satisfying their needs.
WHO IS GEN Z?
Early exposure to internet, social networks and boundless information has lead to a hyper-cognitive and opinionated generation. They possess a heightened ability to filter and see through misleading information, favour brands that are in parallel with their social and ethical principles, and condemn those with underdeveloped, biased, and outdated customs. According to McKinsey & Company insights, Gen Z will account for 40% of global consumers by 2020, proving that they control a powerful influence on the public opinion of all ages, as well as the way people consumer and perceive brands.
Until recently, popular trends exhorted a certain pressure on society and consumer behaviour, allowing conglomerate retailers to profit from the mass production of widespread, up-to-the-minute items. This strategy is no longer relevant with the new generation, as their consumption patterns revolve more around individualism and uniqueness. For this reason, retailers should shy their focus away from the relevance of production, and gain a competitive advantage in a new market by shining a light on customer experience. In order to preserve a good brand reputation, companies should be sure to adapt the below 3 strategies.
- BE EVERYWHERE: Omni-channel strategies and Constant online/offline are crucial when targeting young clients. Gen Z, as well as older generations, have grown accustomed to the unlimited access to goods and services, anytime and anywhere they are. Retailers that fail to be accessible risk being perceived as outdated, blocking potential sales, and losing clients to competitors. The main step to do this is to optimise both online and offline platforms, and keep them updated with the relevant technologies, as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning systems that give companies the internal data they need to learn more about their clientele.
- BE TRANSPARENT: A common characteristic among this new generation is their longing for transparency about the internal and external functions of brands, in order to define their opinions and buying behaviour. Throughout the customer journey, it is crucial that all information is shared with the shopper, i.e. full inventory lists, allowing them to crunch all facts and generate an informed decision about their purchase. An example to tackle this problem would be adopting a Similar Recommendations or Style Advisor AI service which lays down all possible matches to chosen items, and any possible complementary purchases before checking out.
- BE INNOVATIVE: A universal trait among the Gen Z cohort is their hate for boredom. This unit of people have countless gadgets used to provide them with constant activities and entertainment. If an online or offline shopping experience remains ordinary or outdated, the brand will be at high risk of losing the needed customer base to more advanced competitors. For this reason, retailers should find new methods and technologies to maintain a dynamic and modern shopping experience for this particular audience. Visual Search options, or Search by Image Solution, is a great example of a new, cutting edge technology that is sure to keep an important clientele engaged and interested.