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How to adapt the store to the needs and expectations of Generation Z?

The Millenials generation (people born in 1980-95) at present is a significant part of retail store customers. This is an important group considering its size and purchasing power. Behind them, however, Generation Z (people born after 1996) is waiting and expected to have a bigger impact on retail shopping behavior than their predecessors.

Here are four characteristics of the Gen Z shoppers:

1. They have high expectations.

Generation Z expects more than any other generation. They want a store that embraces technology the way they do, that makes products accessible and easy to test, yet still desire interaction with a salesperson.

2. They do not focus on the price.

While other generations are interested in getting the best possible price, Generation Z is more about experience, which is more important for them than a price ticket.

3. They are distracted.

Generation Z practices multitasking. They interact with many devices and jump from application to application. Because of it, salespersons might  have difficulties in communicating with them effectively.

4. They influence other generations.

As research shows, 70 percent of parents turn to their Gen Z kids for help in making a buying decisions. Gen Z influence not only their peers, but also other generations.

Research from IBM indicates that Generation Z, despite being technology-centric, prefers shopping in stationary stores. However, they desire a store with technology at its center. They want retailers to understand that technology must drive the shopping experience. They desire facilities such as free WiFi or discount coupons available directly on the mobile phone and based on location in the store. Another area is the checkout process. Generation Z does not want to stand in lines and prefers mobile payments. The payment method used in the recently opened Amazon Go store looks like a perfect solution for them.

The IBM report also points out that 74 percent representatives of the Generation Z use communicators on their smartphones, like Facebook Messenger. Some brands, therefore, have already started using chatbots that operate on Facebook app. Communicating with chatbot, Burger King customers can order meals, choose locations where they will pick up the order and pay for it.

As important as contact with the customer is the store layout and the display of products. Generation Z move quickly and make decisions quickly so accessories need to be part of the body of the sale and not the add-ons that they have been for other generations.

Technologies, retailers, the store layout – all of these are a part of shopping experience, which is a crucial term regarding Generation Z. If their expectations are not met, they will go elsewhere. They rarely give second chance. And when they get a poor experience, they usually share their negative feelings on social media.

Photo by sam bloom on Unsplash

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