Tips for Reaching Gen Z Shoppers

YouTube is the most-regularly used social media platform
March 8, 2017Allison Zisko

Accenture_GenZ_dataNEW YORK—Retailers looking to capture share of wallet and brand loyalty from the next generation of consumers—Gen Z—will need to find new ways to engage them. This group is looking for enhanced digital tools such as the ability to purchase directly via visual social platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, according to Accenture consumer research.

The research, based on a survey of nearly 10,000 consumers across 13 countries, revealed some distinct shopping habits and preferences among Gen Z consumers, which make it imperative for retailers to further rethink and redesign their digital shopping capabilities and methods, Accenture said.

Social media is set to become a major direct shopping channel for Gen Z with more than two-thirds (69 percent) of them interested in purchasing via social media directly. In addition, more than four in 10 Gen Zs (44 percent) cite social media as a popular source for product inspiration, and more than one-third (37 percent) have increased their use of social media for purchase decision-making in the last year.

“Social media has emerged as a real disruptor in targeting Gen Z shoppers, who are true digital natives,” said Jill Standish, senior managing director of Accenture’s Retail industry practice. “To succeed in this increasingly digital world, retailers must understand Gen Z’s expectations, influencer circles and behaviors—especially their social-media habits and how they differ from those of Millennials. If they are spending their time on social platforms, this is where they want to be buying their products.”

At the same time, however, the research findings show that retailers cannot afford to neglect the physical store, since 60 percent of Gen Z shoppers still prefer to purchase in-store, and nearly half (46 percent) will still check in store to get more information before making an online purchase, Accenture said. In the U.S., over three-quarters (77 percent) of Gen Z respondents said that brick-and-mortar stores is their preferred shopping channel.

The research also revealed that Gen Z shoppers are interested in new shopping methods. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Gen Z shoppers are interested in curated subscription-type offerings for fashion, and 71 percent are interested in automatic-replenishment programs, with an overwhelming majority willing to shift more than half their purchases to a retailer offering this service. Additionally, 38 percent of Gen Zs are willing to try voice-activated ordering, while 25 percent of them said they can’t wait to use it and 10 percent of them said they are already using it.

“The ability to provide reliable and accurate product delivery and a great consumer experience requires retailers to enhance their capabilities in digitization, innovation and harnessing consumer data. Gleaning insights successfully can increase the lifetime value of each customer,” Standish said. “The fact that Gen Z shoppers are open to new shopping methods is a real opportunity for retailers to secure new consumer data and get closer to this generation.”

Other key findings regarding Gen Z shoppers:

• YouTube is the most-regularly used social media platform.

• They regularly turn to their influencer circles; they value what their friends and family think along with recommendations from watching YouTube videos.

• They haven’t formed strong brand loyalty.

• They are impulsive buyers and willing to pay for speedy delivery.

Allison ZiskoAllison Zisko | Managing Editor/Tabletop Editor
azisko@hfnmag.com

After 15 years of covering the tabletop industry, Allison Zisko is still as enthusiastic as ever about the dinnerware, glassware and flatware categories. An in-depth analysis of how the category works intrigues her just as much as the latest fashion trends. As managing editor, Allison oversees the daily e-newsletter and works behind the scenes to help produce the print issue each month. She also directs HFN’s housewares coverage and covers the cutlery category. An avid reader, Allison is eager to talk to anyone and everyone about the latest book they are reading.

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