Prior to the pandemic, an independent research indicated that Gen Z’s direct and indirect spending power may exceed $143 billion. That level of financial clout made brands sit up and take notice. As more members of this generation reach maturity, the number should rise.
Despite the tough battle for jobs, this generation is well positioned to manage money during the pandemic. Their digitally native lifestyle has given them an advantage when it comes to technology, allowing them to pivot rapidly as new circumstances occur.
We already knew that as they grew older, Generation Z would wield tremendous financial power. Business will need to provide fresh, streamlined solutions for Gen Z so that they can easily take charge of their finances. Engaging this group is critical for future-proofing firms, from one-click payments to unique credit alternatives to apps built specifically for them.
Gen Z consumers are more likely to become devoted to a new brand, but they have less tolerance for poor customer service. Plan your customer experience initiatives with Gen Z in mind. Allow them to easily and comfortably handle their service difficulties while speaking to their interests and priorities outside of the confines of customer service alone.
One of Generation Z’s defining characteristics is their innate usage of technology. Whereas Millennials were considered “digital pioneers,” bearing witness to the explosion of technology and social media, Gen Z was born into a world of peak technological innovation — where information was instantly accessible and social media was becoming increasingly prevalent.
These technological advances have had both positive and negative effects on Generation Z. On the plus side, Gen Zers have an abundance of information at their fingertips, allowing them to broaden their knowledge and be proactive in their learning. On the other side, excessive screen usage can exacerbate feelings of isolation and lead to underdeveloped social skills.
Similarly to how Gen Zers use social media to construct their own personal brand, they view their purchasing decisions as an expression of their values and identity. They are drawn to sustainable products and companies, for example, and are often willing to pay extra for them. They value personalized products, and they are drawn to brands that share their political views.
Growing up with smartphones and the internet in their hands, it’s no surprise that Gen Z customers feel totally empowered and secure in resolving issues without the assistance of another human. Less than a quarter of them like to call customer support (compared to 56 percent of Boomers), and are more inclined to employ a variety of service channels, ideally digital and AI-enabled.
According to a report by Zendesk, when asked which digital channels they have used to engage with organizations in the previous year, Gen Z had the greatest percentage of any generation across the following:
- Virtual representatives: 85 percent
- Virtual chat enabled with AI: 78 percent
- Social media; 76 percent
- Text messages: 75 percent
- Video chat: 60 percent
It’s recommended that businesses follow a omnichannel approach when it comes to resolving consumer concerns or issues. Bringing diverse channels together requires careful coordination however, regarding intended metrics, goals, and monitoring.
Small business can lower costs by catering to common needs of the average Gen Z consumer, by identifying repeated intent and behavior, especially when calling in or seeking out assistance from the company directly.
In particular, businesses and contact centers should meet those specific needs through support resources and through established and reliable outbound call center services. Providing a seamless experience for Gen Z consumers that utilizes technology to the fullest is the best way to keep them satisfied and efficiently resolve.
Marketing to Gen Z Demands Careful Experimentation
Consider which areas of your marketing plan are suitable for a Gen Z redesign as you adapt your business to the younger generation. Could you be more forthcoming about how your company gives back and supports worthy causes?
Is it time to reconsider your approach when addressing customer inquiries or feedback? Are there any micro-influencers with strong ties to Gen Z with whom you could collaborate? More importantly, experimenting with new tactics and channels like Discord will help you the best if you’re motivated by creating a genuine long-term connection with Gen Zers rather than simply maximizing conversions as quickly as possible.
Catering to the Future
The consumption patterns of the future generation are unlike those of previous generations. Small businesses who want to target this large market group must address these factors as soon as possible.
It’s become a priority to become familiar with what Gen Z wants and investing in developing a brand presence that caters to those desires. It’s well worth the effort, as the group now accounts for 25.9 percent of the U.S. population and is predicted to account for roughly 40 percent of all consumer markets by 2022.