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10 drivers to connect with Gen Z consumers

Posted by Flux on 

31 March 2023

Generation Z, otherwise known as Zoomers, is the generational cohort succeeding millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. They were born between 1997 and 2012, making them between 11 and 26 years old. They are the most populous generation to date, currently comprising 30% of the world’s population and 31.20% of the African population. 

It is vital that brands and businesses develop a strong understanding of this substantial segment of the population. The youngest of them are already influencing the spending of their parents, while the older ones represent spending power that’s on the rise. Their characteristics translate into the following drivers for retailers to better serve their customers: 

  1. Easy returns: They want the ability to return a purchase easily. Their pragmatic and fiscally conservative nature means that they don’t want to commit to a product that doesn’t fit well or isn’t suitable.
  2. Reviews & testimonials: Recommendations from friends and family are their most trusted source for learning about products and brands. This can be simulated by highlighting positive reviews and testimonials. Shoppers are then able to see what previous buyers thought about the product they are considering purchasing. 
  3. Ease of purchase: Accustomed to the instant gratification of the always-on digital landscape, this generation expects a near frictionless retail experience. An extra step in the checkout process, for example, could result in them switching to a competitor.
  4. Ethics: They have high social justice standards and increasingly expect brands to take a stand on environmental and social issues. However, the company’s declarations must match its actions or else it will be taken to task. Gen Zers are likely to pay more for products and services where the brands’ ideals mirror theirs.
  5. Face-to-face communication: In spite of being a digitally hyper-connected generation, there is growing evidence that they prefer face-to-face communication. Physical retail spaces and real life events which bring together a brand’s community would be welcomed.
  6. Price conscious: This generation is financially shrewd, being born into a precarious economy. They will compare prices to make sure they are getting the best deal. However, they will not support a brand who’s ethically questionable even though their prices are low.
  7. Personalisation: We are entering the “segmentation of one” age whereby young people are increasingly expecting brands to create intimate and personalised relationships with them. Rather than segmenting your audience into broad groups, this involves focusing on the individual.
  8. Gender fluidity: Gen Zers value a spectrum of gender identities and expect brands to cater to this. Products and services that are gender neutral or respectful of gender identities would be welcomed.
  9. Access versus ownership: Having access to products and services, instead of ownership (such as car-riding services, video streaming, and subscriptions), appeals to this demographic. Brands would do well to incorporate this characteristic into their offerings.
  10. Mobile first: Members of this generation treat their phones as an extension of their bodies and prefer mobile over web interfaces. Brands should take heed of this and make sure that their communications are mobile friendly. 

We, at Flux Trends, have been studying Generation Z for the past eight years. As a result, we have amassed many insights which we will explore further in our upcoming Generation Z Immersion Experience on the 15th of June in Johannesburg. Join us as we engage with members of this generation who are making a difference in Africa.

By Faeeza Khan

Head of Research

Image Credit: Miles Peacock

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