What are your youngers shoppers craving? Source: Shutterstock

What are your youngers shoppers craving? Source: Shutterstock

What you need to know to sell to Gen-Z shoppers

IF you are an e-commerce retailer aiming for long-term business growth, catering to the whims and fancies of the next generation of shoppers should be your top priority.

Marketers and research firms had only just begun to understand the spending quirks of millennials, and now, they’ve got another demographic to figure out: The centennials – also known as Generation Z -those who are now 23-years-old and younger.

Accounting for about 277 million of South East Asia’s population, the size of this group alone makes them attractive to retailers, according to a white paper by the Dentsu Aegis Network, published in collaboration with Econsultancy.

The paper, titled Here Comes the Centennial: Southeast Asia’s New Generation of Shoppers, investigated the online shopping behavior and here’s what they found:

# 1 | Cash is still king

Despite growing up in a digital world of high-speed internet and smart devices, the generation is yet to embrace the concept of cashless society.

They enjoy having multiple payment options for their online purchases and 53 percent of responded preferred cash on delivery method.

What happens when they don’t find the payment method that they like? They will willingly abandon their purchases and move on.

 # 2 | Shopping on social media

Centennials are using Facebook and Instagram differently from their predecessors. They are making it a norm to shop on social media platforms.

Almost half the survey respondents said they turn to social media for purchases, instead of asking friends and family.

# 3 | Brands aren’t everything

This generation does not care about brand name and image, with only 11 percent of the respondents considering it an attribute they look for when choosing a retailer.

And thus, in order to capture the market of these future consumers, retailers need to up their game and make their brand experience “near-perfect”.

# 4 | Can’t slow them down

Econsultancy APAC MD Jefrey Gomez said, “Centennials are coming of age in an era when high-speed internet is always available, and they expect technology and brand experiences that are fast, responsive, and seamless.”

He added that 86 percent of centennials will not use apps or websites that take too long to load and 82 percent will abandon apps that are difficult to navigate.

“This means that retailers can therefore no longer just provide well-designed stores or rely solely on brand campaigns to drive sales. Instead, they will need to focus on the utility of their online offering to make the purchasing journey easy to complete,” said Gomez.

As if the sheer size of the group is not enough for retailers and businesses to take notice, this group will soon “grow up” to become the world’s most demanding group of online shoppers — yet.

Gen-Z consumers crave personalization in the digital world and technology will need to play a crucial role in delivering the ultimate online shopping experience.

Most importantly, understanding the behavior of these next-generation shoppers will allow retailers and businesses to adopt and position themselves for the future.