Experts Say Gen Z Buyers Prefer a Seamless Omnichannel Shopping Experience

Generation Z (born 1998 to 2008) grew up with the internet. As digital babies, you might think that a great digital marketing approach is the only way to reach them. It’s not true. According to a recent report, Gen Z buyers prefer a mix of digital and physical shopping. They demand an omnichannel shopping experience from retailers. They want to be able to buy a certain product online and from traditional retail bricks and mortar store.

The report, Gen Z: Decoding the Digital Generation was conducted by AdAge in cooperation with UNiDAYS. They interviewed more than 20,000 Gen Z in Australia, New Zealand, the US, and the UK. Nearly 98% of the respondents own a smartphone. They also possess other digital devices such as laptops, tablets, gaming console, desktop computers, smart watches, fitness trackers, and VR headsets.

Experts Say Gen Z Buyers Prefer a Seamless Omnichannel Shopping Experience
This graph shows the devices that Gen Z owns. | Source: UNiDAYS 2018 Tech Survey, all respondents selected multiple answers.

Zers are part cutting-edge, part traditionalists

Because Gen Z grew up in a digital world, they don’t treat it as a novelty. They know their way around it and they can ignore the digital noise. For instance, more than 56% of them don’t click on website ads anymore. However, 84% of them pay attention to out-of-home (OOH) advertising (e.g. billboards and other outdoor advertising).

Today’s marketers should understand that Z’ers are part cutting-edge and part traditionalists.

“While Gen Z appears to be digital-first, they still have more than a few analogue habits,” said Alex Gallagher, the CMO of UNiDAYS.

“For example, while Gen Z loves browsing online, they still enjoy shopping at brick-and-mortar stores,” he added.

In fact, before Gen Z’ers purchase a product, they use their mobile devices to browse products, compare prices, and read online reviews. Thus, they demand omnichannel sales which allow them to have a seamless, integrated shopping experience.

“It’s critical for brands to develop a cohesive strategy, across both online and offline, that caters to their unique preferences,” Gallagher said.

Experts Say Gen Z Buyers Prefer a Seamless Omnichannel Shopping Experience

Why communicate with Generation Z now

Based on the report Gen Z: Decoding the Digital Generation, Generation Z makes up 26% of the US population and has a spending power of US$143 billion. Also, Gen Z buyers will soon be as influential as Millennials. By 2020, Gen Z will make up 40% of the US population. Given the growing power of Gen Z, marketers need to communicate and connect with them, asap. 

The challenge is that it’s often hard to connect and reach out to Gen Zs compared to Baby Boomers (Gen X) and Millennials (Gen Y). As said earlier, the standard and old marketing tactics (especially online) don’t work on them anymore. Also, most Z’ers have a very little attention span.

They need to experience something new… something that merges the physical and digital marketing seamlessly.

How VIZ360 can help

Here in VIZ360, we believe that brands and businesses need to build a meaningful connection with Z’ers. Even if they have short attention spans, they are eager to check out something that offers them a unique and authentic experience.

VR technology allows a brand to do that.

Based on the report of AdAge and UNiDAYS, Gen Z’ers are still early adopters of VR tech. In the next few years, more of them will become interested in this emerging technology. Thus, this is the perfect time for businesses and brands to invest in VR.

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