The digital natives of Generation Z represent the next wave of young consumers and a massive opportunity for retailers. Here’s what you need to know to successfully market to Gen Z.
While marketers’ minds have been focused on Millennials for much of the last decade, Generation Z has been coming into their own. Loosely defined as those born between 1996 and 2010, Gen Z spans pre-teens and young adults who are currently between the ages of 9 and 23. The older end of this range is obviously the portion with the purchasing power—with $143 billion in direct buying ability. But the generation as a whole can influence up to $665 billion in family spending.
It’s no wonder then that a variety of sources have recently focused on these up-and-coming consumers. From eMarketer and Pew Research to Barkley and Numerator, much has already been written about Gen Z. We’ve pored through the research and pulled out some of the top takeaways for retailers:
*Gen Z will represent 40% of consumers by 2020.
*This is the most ethnically and racially diverse generation the U.S. has ever seen, and they’re the first majority ‘minority’ generation.
*This generation has never known a world without the internet or digital devices, and smartphones are their device of choice.
*Like Millennials, social media is very important to Gen Z, however, their preferences for and usage of social media platforms vary significantly. Gen Z prefers to use Tumblr, Snapchat and Twitter while eschewing Facebook and Reddit more than their slightly older generational counterparts. Therefore, the strategies that work on social with Millennials won’t necessarily apply to reach and connect with Gen Z.
*For now, Gen Z prefers to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, largely because it’s still a social activity with friends, and likely because only the oldest Gen Z members have any autonomy with credit card-based online shopping. Retailers would be wise to tailor in-store experiences for this group.
*But when Gen Z does shop online, Amazon is their destination of choice.
*As this generation is still so young, their brand preferences are wide open, representing a major opportunity for retailers to nurture awareness, usage, and loyalty among this group.
Watch this space every Monday to kick off your work week with the insights digital marketers need to know.
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