Generation Z, also known as iGen or Centennials, is arguably the most pivotal generation to the future of retail. By 2026, the majority of Gen Zers will reach adulthood, and their spending power will reach new heights. Retailers and brands need to start establishing relationships with Gen Zers now to ensure success in the years to come.
But Gen Zers, who we define as those born between 1996 and 2010, are different from older generations, and understanding their characteristics and preferences is essential to capturing their attention — and their dollars. Though members of older generations have grown accustomed to using the internet, Gen Zers are the first consumers to have grown up wholly in the digital era. They’re tech-savvy, heavy internet users, and mobile-first — and, most importantly, they have high standards for how they spend their time online. Retailers and brands — which have spent more than a decade trying to catch up to millennials’ interests and habits after ignoring them and the digital revolution for too long — must leverage Gen Z’s tendency to be online at all times, and make sure to meet the generation’s heightened digital expectations.
In The Digital Commerce and Gen Z Report, Business Insider Intelligence explores Gen Z’s current shopping habits — both online and in-store — and how those habits might evolve over time. It looks at their spending power, both now and in the years to come, and the drivers that lead them to complete a purchase. It also assesses Gen Zers’ unique traits, and the ways that retailers and brands can leverage those characteristics to make them loyal customers.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- Gen Zers are young and only beginning to flex their muscles as consumers, but they’re already an extremely valuable generation to retailers and brands. They hold billions in spending power right now, which will skyrocket as they get older.
- Gen Z currently likes shopping at physical stores, but retailers will need to capitalize on Gen Zers’ interests in retail innovations and their digital expertise to keep them coming back through adulthood.
- These young consumers have higher expectations for their online shopping experiences than any generation before them. Most won’t use slow-loading websites and apps, or hard-to-navigate ones.
- Quality is more likely to be a driver of loyalty for Gen Z, and it also provides motivation to complete a purchase. A retailer or brand trying to connect with Gen Z should look to curate an image of quality in a way that resonates with the young generation.
In full, the report:
- Explores the current and future spending power of Gen Z.
- Examines Gen Zers’ interest in brick-and-mortar shopping, and identifies how retailers and brands can capitalize on it.
- Provides insight into the generation’s digital expectations, and analyzes what they mean for selling to Gen Zers online.
- Discusses the influence of quality and social media on Gen Z’s purchase behavior, and considers potential courses of action for retailers and brands.
Source: Business Insider