There’s a new demographic shaking up the retail status quo: Generation Z. Also known as post-Millennials or the i-generation, this group, born after 1995, comprises more than one-quarter of the U.S. population and contributes over $44 billion to the American economy, according to a recent study. Moreover, consumer spending attributed to Gen Z is estimated to exceed $829.6 billion.
Regardless of whether Gen Z makes up a huge percentage of your customers now, you should probably be paying attention to the group’s customer experiences (CX).
Members of Gen Z are generally thought to be less focused but better multitaskers. They are known for bargain hunting and high expectations. And they desire highly individual experiences. What else should you know to better understand Gen Z and its members’ current and future role on business success? Following are four ways to improve your understanding of this emerging demographic.
1. Understand their whole journey: While recent research shows that 76% of Gen Z-ers choose a smartphone as their most preferred device, 98% of people born after 1995 still make purchases with some frequency in physical stores, 76% frequently shop and buy on websites, and 46% use apps. These stats suggest you need to understand the experiences they’re having in every channel, as well as how an experience in one channel influences behavior in another.
2. Constantly reassess navigation and performance: Great navigation and performance in digital channels have always been important, regardless of your target customer’s age. But the ForeSee Experience Index shows that for many websites, as long as these two areas are basically functional, they aren’t top priorities for improvement. However, 62% of Gen Z-ers won’t use websites with difficult navigation or sluggish speeds. Good voice of customer (VoC) research and analysis can drill down on which elements of an experience should be prioritized for each demographic.
3. Personal information: Research shows that 60% of Gen Z-ers are willing to provide personal data to brands as long as they know it’s being treated safely and responsibly. This willingness could represent a gold mine for retailers seeking to understand the next generation of shoppers. Brands that want to appeal to--and better understand--Gen Z should make sure digital security is top-notch and that policies are clearly communicated.
4. Measure and benchmark: The only way to know whether you’re staying on top of a generation that represents and influences hundreds of billions of dollars is to measure their experience and benchmark your efforts against direct competitors, brands in your industry, and best-in-class companies. Only then can you be sure you’re well-positioned to take advantage of this demographic’s extraordinary spending power.
Most retailers are starting to see the impact of Gen Z on the bottom line, either directly or indirectly. Getting CX right is your top competitive weapon with any age customer; Gen Z is no different. They want good experiences, customized to their needs. CX data and analysis can guide us in providing excellent, customized experiences for any generation.