Generation – Z
There are a few obvious things that distinguish Gen Z from all the other generations before. They have grown up with the internet. More than 96% of Gen Z owns a smartphone and more than half of this generation will be connected for 10 or more hours a day. Needless to say that social media is central to every aspect of their lives, providing access to entertainment, social interaction, to share information and to learn about new products. Already today we can recognize that Gen Z will trust information shared by other shoppers more than advertising. Therefore ratings and comments are more important than ever. And it’s not only that they have access to any information, they also demand for traceable transparency. *
Maybe it’s because they are used to find everything and get response in a very short period of time, or that the attention span of this Generation is only 8 seconds, even 4 seconds less that those of the Millenials. They are very much interested in the new and unique. No wonder that this generation is heavily attracted by pictures and as such is the first that checks Instagram more than Youtube, Snapchat or Twitter.*
Gen Z is looking for an instore experience with online convenience
James Allen, one of the largest privately held online diamond and bridal jewelry retailers in the world is one of the first to accept the challenge. Their Diamond Display Technology allows customers to view actual diamonds magnified up to 40 times in 360° HD and a virtual try-on feature on the mobile website shows the client how a particular ring will look on their hand. Striking for the best support and transparency, James Allen also provides a Real-Time-Diamind Inspection service by a noncommissioned certified gemologist who walks them through the technical aspects of their diamond.
The Sephora beauty TIP workshop in NY is also a good example for forward-looking experimental retail store concepts. The store emphasizes a variety of beauty services and classes where the customers can play with the product. From contour to the right skin care solution shoppers can get a customized consultation.
More than any other generations Gen Z has the potential to disrupt the tradition. Gen Z will have the highest rate of mixed races and as such it will be very diverse and overall very optimistic about diversity in regards to gender, race and sexuality. Their diversity will continue to drive culture trends, as we already see with the exploration of authentic, global food experiences. However, impacts of this diversity not only includes their food habits but also their ability to grow up multilingual, their acceptance of people coming from different ethnicities and seeing the world with only a few boundaries.
Borderless access to information and unlimited digital interaction leads to the desire of real physical experiences of this generation. Whether it is with feeling it’s own body by doing sports, or adventure travels to exotic destinations or sharing real events with like-minded people . It already becomes apparent that they see brick and mortar stores more as a spot for experiences, education and new discovering than a point of sale and that they will go for the identity of a brand and not for a product.
Gen Z, is constantly blurring the boundaries between online and offline, is independent and purpose driven and is fully aware how they can influence global communities, environments and brands. As a result this phygital generation will challenge brands like no other has never experienced before.
* Mediakix, Generation Z statistics