Decoding Gen Z: Key Behavioural and Consumer Trends

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Retail & Distribution

09 February 2024

Surveys by GlobalWebIndex indicate that 49% of Gen Z trust influencers for product recommendations, showcasing the significance of relatability in their decision-making. Explore transformative insights from NRF 2024 in NYC, unveiling actionable strategies for retailers to authentically engage with Generation Z. Discover the evolving priorities of Gen Z, their shopping habits, their preference for in-store experiences, and responsible online engagement.

2 min

The retail landscape is undergoing a seismic shift, and at the heart of this transformation lies the enigmatic Generation Z. Distinct from their Millennial predecessors, Gen Z possesses unique values and aspirations that demand the attention of specialty retailers. Drawing from the invaluable insights revealed at NRF 2024 in New York, we delve into actionable strategies that empower retailers not only to understand but authentically engage with Generation Z, ultimately elevating the retail experience.

Decoding Gen Z Consumer Trends: Beyond the Stereotypes

Gen Z’s evolution is marked by debunking myths and embracing their distinctive characteristics. Unlike the common perception that they are a continuation of Millennials, Gen Z stands out for their forward-thinking approach. Financial well-being, career progression, and a desire for meaningful experiences define their priorities. Contrary to the belief that they are solely savers, Gen Z displays a keen inclination to spend on experiences that align with their values.

In fact, according to a study by Piper Sandler, Gen Z spends an average of $143 per month, with 67% of their budget allocated to personal care, clothing, and food.

In their role as content creators and consumers, Gen Z exhibits a deep interest in podcasts. This medium becomes a tool for self-education, filling gaps left by traditional schooling. Trust is paramount to Gen Z, and they gravitate towards those who share similar age and experiences.

Surveys by GlobalWebIndex indicate that 49% of Gen Z trust influencers for product recommendations, showcasing the significance of relatability in their decision-making.

Fast paced and diverse, Gen Z enjoys the blend of local brands and foods along with the convenience offered by fast-food chains. Understanding this duality is crucial for retailers seeking to cater to their varied preferences.

The In-Store Experience: Gen Z’s Haven for Personalisation

Contrary to the assumption that online shopping dominates, a substantial portion of Gen Z values the in-store experience. Physical stores serve as more than mere transaction spaces; they become platforms for personalisation, socialisation, and self-expression. Creating environments that seamlessly integrate the digital and physical realms, offering localised Spotify playlists, unique fragrances, and other personalised elements, becomes imperative.

IBM reports that 67% of Gen Z prefers shopping in physical stores, emphasising the importance of enhancing the in-store experience for this demographic.

Empowering associates to stay informed about unique trends and engage customers on a personal level becomes crucial. Gen Z seeks a sense of community, and the in-store experience emerges as a powerful tool for forging these connections.

Navigating the Digital Landscape: Responsible Engagement with Gen Z Online

Gen Z willingly shares data but expects responsible use. Retailers must leverage this information ethically, providing personalized experiences while respecting privacy. Having the tools to manage data is crucial, as retailers need capabilities to deliver a seamlessly personalized experience, meeting Gen Z’s expectations for a smooth and tailored shopping journey.

According to a report by Accenture, 66% of Gen Z consumers are willing to share data with brands in exchange for personalised discounts or offers.

Internal culture plays a pivotal role, with authenticity and a willingness to embrace nostalgia being key.

Examples in Action: Brands Connecting with Gen Z

Spotify Wrapped: Spotify’s annual Wrapped campaign understands Gen Z’s moods and moments. Using data on the most searched words, Spotify curates playlists and podcasts, resonating particularly well during challenging times.

In 2021, Spotify reported that Gen Z had the highest engagement with the Wrapped campaign, with 29.5 billion streams of Wrapped playlists.

Loyalty Beyond Transactions: Brands like H&M succeed by offering non-transactional surprises, such as activations at events like Coachella and pre-access to special designer collaborations.

According to a study by Forbes, 60% of Gen Z consumers expect brands to take a stand on social issues, emphasising the importance of aligning brand values with customer expectations.

Authentic Engagement: McDonald’s, with the seemingly innocent “ranch” incident that went viral, demonstrates the power of authentic engagement. Sharing the pen with Gen Z in an authentic way can create a lasting impact.

The viral McDonald’s “ranch” incident generated over 82,000 mentions on social media platforms within a week, showcasing the amplifying effect of authentic engagement.

Elevating the Retail Experience with Cegid Retail

As we navigate the evolving landscape of retail, it’s essential to seamlessly integrate these insights into practical solutions. Cegid Retail, with its innovative solutions, empowers specialty retailers to bridge the gap between physical and digital realms. Elevate your in-store experience, personalise customer interactions, and efficiently manage data with Cegid Retail, ensuring a holistic approach that resonates with the dynamic and influential Generation Z.

According to a case study by Cegid, retailers using Cegid’s unified commerce solutions witnessed a 20% increase in customer satisfaction and a 15% boost in in-store sales.

Embrace the future of retail with Cegid, where understanding and connection go hand in hand. By aligning with the preferences and values of Generation Z, retailers can not only attract but also retain the loyalty of this dynamic and influential generation. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, it’s those who adapt and innovate that will thrive in the era of Gen Z retail dominance.

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