Just as retailers were finally starting to figure out how to cater to Millennials, Gen Z is leaving analysts and retailers stumped over how to redefine 21st-century retail to meet their needs. According to the National Retail Federation, "the global Gen Z population is set to reach 2.6 billion by 2020, [and] retailers need to create more interactive engagement around their brands to serve the ‘always on’, mobile focused, high-spending demographic."
Consequently, retailers are focusing more on creating "experiences" that will bring these smartphone savvy customers into their brick-and-mortar stores. Macy’s is increasing its number of in-store boutiques for various brands such Apple, Best Buy, and even Etsy shops. What’s more, Nordstrom has begun introducing smart fitting rooms equipped with interactive mirrors so consumers can read product reviews or immediately find accessories to complete their look.
While establishing a unique in-store experience is important, it's vital for retailers to understand Gen Z's online shopping habits in order to harness this demographic's potential buying power.
Gen Z has been raised on social media, which means this population is highly influenced by new trends, reviews and peer recommendations. A recent Accenture report reveals that not only is this generation more inclined to make impulse purchases, but 40 percent of them elicit the opinion of family and friends when shopping. They are also almost twice as likely than Millennials to turn to YouTube before a purchase, and 77 percent of them browse social media to look for shopping ideas.
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