Avoid fear and loathing from Gen Z consumers with these technologies

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

Avoid fear and loathing from Gen Z consumers with these technologies

By Dan Berthiaume - 10/09/2020
gen z group

Las Vegas would lay favorable odds on retailers who reach out to Gen Z with video, mobile, and on-demand solutions.

I recently discovered that late, legendary “gonzo” journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson most likely invented the term “Generation Z” in 1994. The opportunity to write about a topic originated by one of my all-time literary heroes is simply too good to pass up. So here are three technology platforms retailers can use to reach Gen Z shoppers where they already live, work and play.

There is a reason Walmart wants to invest in TikTok, and it’s not to deepen penetration of its existing customer base. According to comScore, more than 60% of the short form video platform’s 100 million active U.S. users are between the ages of 10 and 29. And Business Insider analysis indicates 65% of Gen Z consumers use Instagram every day and 62% are daily YouTube users.

If its investment is approved, Walmart is expected to become the exclusive e-commerce provider for TikTok in the U.S. However, Instagram has expanded shopping features to its IGTV long-form video app, and later in 2020 will enable purchases directly within video content across its IGTV, Live, Stories, and Reels offerings. And YouTube offers direct e-commerce capabilities such as shoppable Discovery ads. Video is not the wave of the future; Gen Z consumers are surfing it now.

When Gen Z consumes video, or any other form of digital content, it is most often via mobile device. Data from Criteo indicates the typical Gen Z consumer spends an average of 11 hours on their mobile device per week, while Institute of Business Management figures show about 75% of Gen Zers most frequently use a smartphone and 66% report using more than one internet-connected device at a time.

There is a good chance that any Gen Z shopper you are trying to reach will be using a connected mobile device, wherever they are and whatever the time. In addition to taking obvious steps like offering m-commerce sites that are optimized for mobile access, retailers need to design their entire omnichannel shopping experience around mobile users.

This includes developing offerings such as mobile wayfinding in stores; scannable QR codes that provide additional product information on shelf tags and advertisements; and location-based, personalized mobile promotions and notifications.

On-demand fulfillment
Gen Z consumers are digitally aware and constantly connected. So, it should not come as a huge surprise that they show high interest in using on-demand fulfillment services. Package Demand data reveals 58% of Gen Zers have used buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), while First Insight data shows 22% have used curbside pickup (compared to just 13% of Gen X and baby boomer shoppers). And more than half (52%) of Gen Z consumers want an option for same-day shipping, according to Neopost Shipping research.

Retailers who do not have robust offerings for all three of these on-demand fulfillment services need to quickly establish them – certainly in time for the rapidly approaching holiday rush. Fortunately, numerous third-party platforms are available to quickly scale up these capabilities, even for retailers starting out with little or no supporting infrastructure.

More Blog Posts In This Series

Is Prime Day part of the ‘new normal’?

Nobody questions the success of Amazon Prime Day, but has retail simply adjusted to it?

Competing with Prime Day for the rest of the retail industry

Head-on competition with Amazon Prime Day is virtually impossible, but that doesn’t mean you should concede sales to Amazon.

Three e-commerce predictions for a Walmart investment in TikTok

If a deal is struck allowing TikTok to continue operating in the U.S., Walmart will likely serve as its exclusive digital commerce provider.

Related Topics