Emojis grabbed the attention of the media this week when it emerged that Gen Z considers the thumbs up emoji to be passive aggressive. Despite this, emojis are here to stay and people are now purchasing products using them. On the app of the British grocery chain Iceland, you can search for items using emojis. If you use the beer emoji, for example, it will direct you to the beer options. According to a recent Adobe survey of 5000 US emoji users, 57% of respondents were willing to purchase an item using this method. This trend can be seen across various platforms such as Zelle, Square and Venmo. “Because emoji are already so integrated into our daily lives as an efficient and fun way to communicate – from quickly confirming event attendance and communicating with a doctor to ordering groceries online – we’re now seeing the majority of emoji users interested in using emoji when they make purchases,” says Kamile Demir, a computer scientist at Adobe.
Why is it important?
This method represents a way for brands to connect with Gen Z who represent the new generation of consumers and the future of shopping. Using emojis is a creative and unconventional way to buy goods. According to the Adobe survey mentioned above, Gen Z was the generation most likely to shop using emojis at 71%, millennials 67% and boomers 40%. This trend appears to appeal mostly to the youth – but the question needs to be asked: is it a gimmick or will it become more widely adopted?
What can businesses do about it?
Emojis have become an integral part of how we communicate digitally. They help to convey emotion when words alone are insufficient. And they can now be used to speed up shopping and make it more entertaining. Businesses should assess who their target audience is and determine whether to incorporate emojis in their buying journeys to add novelty and fun. If their customers are young, then it may be in their best interests to look into using emojis in some manner. This trend is currently prevalent in the US and we are yet to see if and when it will come to Africa.
By Faeeza Khan
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Image credit: Emoji Sprout