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The Generation-Z Consumers in Retail

The aspect of marketing is a challenging proposition for brands and retailers today. With evolving market scenarios and the emergence of new customer groups, the challenge has certainly intensified over the years. Recently, millennials have hogged all the limelight, but now it's time to focus on Generation Z.

gen z consumers

(image credit shutterstock)

Customers who fall under Gen-Z belong to the age group of 13-21 and can be considered to be as distinct as any other consumer group. Gen-Z have a spending power of US $44 billion dollars in the US alone (IBM). They are also forecasted to account for 33% of the total global population by 2020, according to projections by (Fun Global Retail & Tech). It won't exactly be the wisest choice for brands and retailers to ignore them.

Generation Z – Unique in unexpected ways


The Gen Z consumer group has its' unique characteristics, and few of them are quite surprising and unexpected in nature. Here is a look at a few statistics that are bound to raise an eyebrow or two.


  • Despite of 74% of Gen Z category spending their free time online, 98% still shop in store. (IBM Customer Experience Index Study, 2017)


  • The study also depicts that GenZ consumers influence 93% of household purchases and 62% of Gen Z consumers will not use websites and apps that are difficult to navigate.


  • According to a survey conducted by HRC over 3,100 participants in the US and Canada, 72% of Gen Z respondents visit a shopping mall once a month for an hour at least, visiting 4.4 stores on the trip. 60% of these consumers go to the mall with a clear intention to purchase.


  • The HRC survey also portrayed that 54% of the respondents preferred YouTube over Facebook, unlike Millennials.

The above numbers should encourage retailers to better attend to Gen-Z, especially the brick-and-mortar retailers. In this age of increasing e-commerce, this is their turn to pounce on the opportunity at hand and make a real difference.


Brands still ignorant of the massive Opportunity


Studies show that brands have still not hit their strides when it comes to marketing and attending to Gen-Z consumers. According to the IBM customer experience Index, 84% retailers does not offer any in-store mobile services. Customer loyalty in retail will be tough to achieve with the prevalence of limited in store mobile marketing. Apart from this, only 19% retailers provide a highly personalized digital shopping experience. Now the obvious question is, 'if retailers can't merely engage customers online, how will they cater to their in-store personalization needs?'.


These numbers clearly denote that brands and retailers are still ignorant of the Gen Z opportunity. Brands need to anticipate their demands better in order to stay one step ahead of meeting Gen Z expectations. According to IBM's Harriet Green, brands and retailers need to understand that the Gen Z consumers value:


  • personalized interaction

  • quality over price

  • brand engagement across various channels.

A Deeper Insight on Gen Z consumers


The young age of the Gen Z members cannot be taken into consideration as they already wield tremendous economic power. Not only are they not shy of personal spending, but as mentioned before, they have a huge influence on household purchases as well. They also strongly influence family spending across various categories. The following illustration certainly depicts the same.



(image credit: IBM)

Brands and Retailers need to decode the needs and preferences of the Gen Z members. Only then will they be in any position to meet their expectations. The following statistics surely provide enough insight about Gen Z members. According to a study conducted by IBM Institute for Business Value:


  • 65% of Gen Z consumers expect real value for money with discounts and reward programmes


  • 66% expect that very few products will be out of stock


  • brands providing high quality products matters to 66% of them


  • 46% of them refer to recommendations made by friends while choosing a brand


  • 56% want a fun in-store experience so that they don't get bored


  • 45% opt for brands that are socially responsible and Eco friendly in nature.

About Ajay Hirawat

Ajay Hirwat has 5 + years of experience in Program Management and has been the Key Contributor of success at Marque clients of Tickto. He has been involved in the development and making sure that product works as promised. An BE ( Hons) from CSVTU, Chattisgarh, Ajay started his career with Maketick as an QA Analytic and grew through the ranks to become a Lead in his current role. He shifted to Tickto from July, 2015 and since then has been integrally involved with key customer accounts.

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