Generation Z might be the youngest group of consumers, but they’re also the generation that’s paying the most attention to customer experience, says the “One Size Doesn’t Fit All” research study by Oracle in partnership with Jeanne Bliss. So, what’s really driving these young consumers?
Here are the 3 expectations brands need to consider when targeting their youngest customers.
Ecommerce shopping – even in unusual places
Commerce happens everywhere, and successful brands are often just a click away when their youngest shoppers are ready to purchase. The study found that 93% of Generation Z shoppers trust recommendations from family and friends. Because these consumers grew up in a digital culture, they expect to be able to take those recommendations and purchase whenever and wherever.
And these young consumers are buying in unlikely places, too. The study also identified that 51% admitted to online shopping in places like church, weddings, dates, funerals, and even in the shower.
They’ll rent, not buy
Back in the ol’ days, teenagers and young adults drove to the mall to buy a tape or CD of their newest favorite song — or just about anything. At that time, it may have seemed unfathomable that the future youngest consumers would be renting a huge majority of their purchases, but here we are. Instead of buying, Generation Z chooses subscription options, like streaming music and video or renting clothing — for variety and accessibility.
The study found a whopping 95% of Gen Z respondents subscribe to some kind of service or product, and their rental-based shopping preference is something that will continue, or possibly even increase, in the years to come. According to the report, “Nearly three out of five Gen Zers expect the number of services they subscribe to will increase or stay the same over the next few years.”
Novel experiences are a must
Generation Z is 58% more likely, according to the study, to purchase from brands and businesses that offer innovative ways to experience their products and services. One way to wow consumers is to offer experiential retail opportunities, such as testing out new products, or virtual experiences, like viewing far-away wedding reception sites using virtual reality. Another way to create novel experiences for this crowd is to use data to personalize the encounter, by suggesting what “true” size a consumer should purchase when online shopping based on previous data or purchases (and returns!).
As Generation Z’s income grows, brands are looking for ways to rise to meet their expectations. And when doing so, businesses may find success in valuing progress over perfection. More than any other generation in the study, Gen Zers were more forgiving of less-than-positive brand experiences. In fact, 8 out of 10 respondents felt open to giving brands a second chance if they were to experience a less-than-positive first experience.