Get Ready for the Gen Z Consumer Revolution

generation z 40 percent

Are you ready for the next wave of consumers? The successor to the Millennial generation, Generation Z will represent 40 percent of all consumers by 2020, according to the December 2017 Accenture Report. Understanding the forthcoming generation will be crucial for retailers to attract new shoppers with this next decade and those that tail behind.

Gen Z customers are savvy and have grown up using smartphones with messaging, social media, music, gaming, and wallet programs — making them much more sophisticated users of technology than their predecessor generations. The report concluded, that while the Millennials are the generation of the internet, Gen Z is the generation of the smartphone.

The choices for entertainment are limitless to Generation Z, but when and where they choose to consume it is not. This tendency towards instant gratification and boundless distractions means they have shorter attention spans than previous generations. They can make decisions quickly while multitasking through a variety of apps, and analyze information like trending pages, most popular content, and peer reviews. They also turn to trusted social media influencers to find the most relevant information. Like the Millennials before them, Gen Z also cares about traditional advertisements, and gravitates firmly towards benefits, offers and deals when it comes to shopping and mobile payments.

The upcoming generation also knows how to handle and invest their money digitally and in real-time through the use of apps. According to the 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report, 70 percent of Gen Z’ers have made in-app mobile payments in the past year. They’re enjoying better cash flow in the present growing economy but prefer to spend from the funds that they have. Most Gen Z’ers grew up during the 2007-08 recession, engendering a need to take care of their money and to avoid the pitfalls of debt.


Considering these trends centering around Gen Z’ers and Millennials, retailers will need to focus on the following services to market and sell to this next wave of consumers:

Mobile Payments: This next generation is proving to not be heavy plastic card users; they expect to pay digitally through their mobile device using their bank or prepaid accounts inside their apps. Retailers will need to accept payments from popular payment apps like Venmo that enable consumers to pay with their banking or digital balance accounts. Retailers will also have to accept contactless payments like NFC, QR or barcode, should be used as well for in-app payments.

The Customer Experience: This facet is becoming the prime differentiating variable for Millennials and Gen Z’ers. Retailers will need to offer both a smooth shopping experience where the payment is embedded as part of the experience. Customers will want to have the ability to redeem their loyalty points, rewards, and have quick, one-step checkouts.

Contextual Commerce Expertise: Given Millenial and Gen Z demand for all-inclusive customer experience and the amount of marketing messages directed at them, retailers should make it simpler and fast for those consumers to purchase products by letting them stay in their current circumstance, whether on a telephone, tablet, or PC, and not have to visit the website or shop.

Considering that Gen Z alone will represent a whopping 40 percent of US consumers by 2020, retailers will need to tune up their stores soon in order to entice the rising generation of customers to their companies or risk losing them to the tuned-up competitors like Amazon.