Our assigned generations serve to categorize us among others who have shared and continue to share the same cultural experiences that we have along the timeline of human existence. Right now on that timeline, we are watching Baby Boomers retire, Gen Xers raise their families and Millennials begin and progress in their careers. Among all that activity, there is another generation playing an increasingly important role: Generation Z. Gen Z generally refers to those born after 1996 through the mid-2000s, meaning the oldest of the bunch is turning 23 this year. In marketing, that means it’s time to start thinking about Gen Z as consumers.
They’re the generation of smartphones, tablets and search engines. The generation of Alexa, Netflix and Google. Even the oldest members of Gen Z have barely known a world where the internet wasn’t 100 percent at our fingertips.
Though they’re young, Gen Z is already infiltrating the world’s consumer base, meaning that products are increasingly being designed and marketed with their preferences in mind. Gen Z members have been digitally immersed for their entire lives, which is something to keep in mind when considering Gen Z as consumers. Let’s look at a few other surprising stats, courtesy of a study by WP Engine.
- Gen Z influences as much as 93 percent of family consumer decisions. From food to tech purchases, younger family members have a significant say.
- By 2020, Gen Z members will make up the largest group of consumers in the world. In fact, as a quarter of the population, they already represent up to $143 billion in spending power globally!
- 55 percent of Gen Z can’t go more than five hours without internet access. They were born with the internet in hand, so it’s not exactly surprising. By comparison, 22 percent of Baby Boomers say they can go more than 168 hours without access to the internet.
- 54 percent of Gen Z believe that internet influencers are more important than politicians. This includes people who build and manage websites.
- 64 percent of Gen Z would rather have unlimited internet access and no college degree than a college degree and no access to the internet. Now, if only they could find someone to make them that offer…
- 68 percent of Gen Z think websites will intuitively know what they are looking for upon visiting a web page. To add to this, 40 percent said they would leave a web page if it didn’t anticipate their needs. Websites better be on the ball when Gen Z comes through!
- 44 percent of Gen Z would forgo privacy concerns by providing data if it meant their websites could give them a more personalized experience. Hello, marketers—something to think about when considering Gen Z as consumers.
- Marketers have seven seconds to capture Gen Z’s attention before they move on to something else. By comparison, they have 12 seconds to make a mark on Millennials.
- 61 percent of Gen Z prefers websites over apps when it comes to making online purchases. It’s not an overwhelming number, but could be a trend to watch going forward as Gen Z’s successor, Generation Alpha, comes onto the scene.
- 75 percent of Gen Z trusts online-only companies. Face-to-face interaction with a store owner at a brick-and-mortar location was once the preferred way to go. However, internet-only companies have more credibility with the tech-dependent generations.
It’s not that Gen Z is on the verge of making a significant impact on consumerism—it’s already happening. If you aren’t already considering the weight of Gen Z as consumers in your marketing efforts, now is the time to start.
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