Unlocking Gen Z’s Purchasing Potential

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Young, savvy and more powerful than you might think.

Saja Elmishri explores the important factors brands might consider when speaking, engaging and selling to Generation Z. What really matters to them and how do they actually like to consume content? Read the full discovery below.

Generation Z, Millennials, Boomers and Generation Y. These terminologies are used on a daily basis to describe different kinds of generations or consumer bases. But what is the Gen-Z consumer all about when it comes to how they like to shop?

Generation Z (gen-z) often refers to anyone that is usually born after 1997 and is considered to be part of the new generation, usually hungry for convenience, knowledge and purpose.  Further in terms of consumption behavior, unlike the older Millennials who have experienced part of their lives without the internet, Gen Zers grew up on it. They typically communicate and seek information via social media; social media is the prime tool for daily function. 

Specifically, 73% of Gen Zers (ages 18 -23 years old), are active users of Instagram and according to Forbes, over 60% of TikTok users consists of said younger audience given that TikTok provides light content ranging from dancing tutorials, cooking challenges, puzzles and more.

Coupled with how Gen-Z accounts for 40% of global consumers as per 2020 and tends to spend 10% more time on apps than any other consumer group out there, Pew Research claims, Gen-Z individuals “are more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation, and they are on track to be the most well-educated generation yet.” Gen-Zer are acclaiming their space and are indeed becoming more and more appreciated by brands.  

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Consider the lifestyle of Gen-Z especially during the Covid-19 pandemic and how they are responding to it. Now more than ever, they are seeking news in a dynamic way, but at the same time, they are also looking for ways to keep up with current trends. Additionally, they are looking for positive content that can help them forget about the challenging and frightening atmosphere we’ve all endured over 2020. More than anything, delivering digital content is important, and it has to mean something to this consumer group. 

So let us consider how these consumers think and note where they are spending their time. If a Gen Z is set on exploring news on Snapchat, it makes sense that the brand is also there to capture his/her attention, right? Not only that, but the actual content should be adapted to match the vibe of that platform. For example, when executing a campaign, brands may adapt the content differently for YouTube than for Snapchat. It’s all about the relevance and attractiveness. Last but not least, this generation can see through mediocre efforts; chances are, pushing out disingenuous content won’t capture the attention of these digital mavens. 

Gen-Z is shaping the future of digital shopping but it is up to each individual brand or retail professional to identify the key trends that the younger consumer group cares about. Finding ways to deliver content that has a positive impact and is culturally sensitive to Gen-Z, will allow brands to create more meaningful connections and forge relationships that are more likely going to be sustained and effectively paid out in the long-term. 

We see that having a digital presence is important, but it’s not everything. Bottega Veneta started the new year off by deleting its social media; talk about a powermove! Some argue that the luxury Italian brand wanted to seem more exclusive and aimed to drive its local audiences to drive the incentive to visit the store. Others, such as GQ, argue that the brand is going back to its roots: “Perhaps the Bottega deletion is the ultimate act of stealth luxury—it will now be a brand that travels strictly by word of mouth.”

Finally, when it comes to Gen-Z in MENA, according to Ipsos the younger generation in this region grades success as “their ability to choose, the ability to think for themselves and the ability to be heard.”  Therefore understanding how and where to deliver impactful messages and realizing the apparent purchasing power and social influence that this younger generation has, is key when it comes to unlocking their shopping potential.