Gen Zs were born between 1997 and 2015 and are known for being tech-smart, having a preference for second-hand clothes, and ‘stanning’ celebrities and joining ‘fandoms’. Other generations have their own ideas of what Gen Zs are really like, and while some of these traits are overinflated stereotypes, they do possess some key characteristics due to the context of the world they grew up in, which saw them come of age through events like the technology boom, global financial crisis, and numerous political milestones.
This means that Gen Zs have distinct attitudes and behaviors that are likely to influence everything they do, including the way they shop. As such, your company needs to bear these differences in mind if you want to appeal to a demographic that has serious spending power. Here we look at four things that make zoomers different and how you can maximize the chances of gaining their business.
- They expect convenience
Gen Z hasn’t known a world without the internet. Thanks to smartphones, they’ve grown up able to access information at their fingertips and buy anything they want without needing to enter a physical shop. This means your business needs to cater to the convenience they have become accustomed to by ensuring they can quickly access information and services in order to establish good relationships. Gen Zs don’t have time for slow-loading apps or websites, poor WiFi connection, or long delivery times.
For example, research shows that Gen Zs are more likely to hang up the phone if it isn’t answered within 45 seconds. This attitude spreads to the whole user experience — they want fast, responsive customer service. This means minimal clicks when online shopping and speedy delivery options. To appeal to this generation, companies could team up with a courier offering same-day delivery. One example is CitySprint, which ensures you “get your package collected in an hour or less, whether you’re booking a delivery for today or any time in the future”. Also work on refining your customer journey from the moment they enter your website to ensure your Gen Z buyers have the smoothest, quickest experience when using your services. You’ll also want your website to have a good UX design, with quick page loading speeds and easy navigation.
- They put values first
One key Gen Z trait is that they’re more passionate about solving the world’s problems compared to previous generations. Social issues they care about include mental health, race equity, and the environment, and this also impacts how they spend their money. Zoomers are more likely to seek out eco-conscious clothing companies than fast fashion brands, with many willing to spend 10% or more on sustainable items. Meanwhile, McKinsey found that 65% will try to learn the origins of anything they buy, so if a product appears to be unethical, they may think twice.
According to over half of Gen Zs, a brand’s dedication to social impact influences whether they make a purchase. This could include initiatives like giving profits to charities, being environmentally conscious, and having strong values. They expect companies to take a stand, so try and show you care about the issues that matter to you. This could mean using recycled materials and providing an eco-friendly packaging, supporting charities, or even partnering with socially-conscious brands.
- They are highly educated
Gen Z is less likely to drop out of education compared to millennials, and their parents are known to be well-educated as well. In fact, more than four in ten zoomers live with at least one parent with a bachelor’s degree. This may influence them to apply for higher education courses themselves. Beyond that, Gen Zs care about learning, developing career skills, and obtaining a formal education while being creative, tech-savvy, and hands-on.
As a result of this education and online experience, they are more likely to spot false information on the internet. A survey revealed that 83% of zoomers use social media to read the news but only 7% say it’s the most trustworthy platform, while 69% said it’s somewhat or very easy to identify fake news. This is because Gen Z tends to apply more context, nuance, and skepticism when reading content than other generations. They know how to find accurate sources of information and won’t believe everything they read due to being brought up in the digital age. When it comes to browsing websites, this generation spots inconsistencies too. For example, if a brand states they’re a diverse company but there’s no evidence of it, Gen Zers will catch on. So, in short, don’t lie because they are likely to find out.
- They are more diverse
Gen Z is more racially and ethnically diverse than any other generation before them. They tend to be more open and aware of gender and sexuality too — most include their preferred pronoun in email signatures and social media bios. This awareness has had a significant impact on what zoomers expect from a workplace, with 83% stating that a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is important when choosing an employer.
As such, it’s vital your business develops a diverse team to attract and connect with Gen Zs. The more diverse your team, the more likely you will benefit from insights that allow your branding and services to appeal to a diverse and inclusive customer base. Featuring a wide range of people in your content and advertising is one way you can do this. Just look at pop star Rihanna’s brand Fenty, for example, which showcases models of different body types, genders, and racial backgrounds. Your business should also commit to creating positive experiences for individuals who don’t look like you, learning what diversity looks like, and continuing to hire diversely.