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The Specificities of Generation Z Consumers
The representatives of the Generation Z are those people who were born around the 2000s. At the moment, this group of the population includes individuals under 18 years old. There are many questions to buying habits of the new generations, and some of them are already answered. However, there is a lot of controversial facts considering Generation Z consumers and most people have differing opinions about this issue. The most obvious difference to other generations of consumers is probably increasing popularity of online shopping. It seems to be logical to assume, that with the invention of this technology, most young people will make purchases preferably with the help of their laptops or smartphones. However, it is one of the misconceptions in this question. Nevertheless, there are many other stereotypes and fallacies in this issue. Therefore, there is a need to discuss and critically analyze the specificities of Generation Z consumers.
The first and the most significant peculiarity of Generation Z consumers is their higher competency as buyers and consumers of goods comparing to Millennials and all the more so their predecessors. In the age of information, each teenager has free access to the world wide web, thus, to any information. Therefore, teenagers and school children of the new generation are more aware of those goods they buy or plan to buy. Considering planning of purchase is a whole new story. Fifteen or ten years ago, people had no that freedom of choice that they do now.
Moreover, the market and marketing strategies changed enormously since that time. In the past, people who wanted to buy anything went to a shop and chose of those options presented there and paid the price offered by shopkeepers. Now, in the age of internet marketing, it is possible to find any information about anything from clothes to phone accessories. That is why Generation Z consumers are more picky and selective since they possess more knowledge and broader choice. Today, a teenager who wants to buy a skateboard, will not go to the skateboard shop immediately. The first step will be research. The teenager will watch dozens of videos on YouTube about skateboards, their types, prices, construction, materials, and so on. Only after that, he or she will choose the most practical and qualitative option.
The second argument considering buying habits of Generation Z consumers is that they much rarely waste money on unnecessary goods. This fact can be surprising to many. However, statistics say that it is true. “Those financial concerns surface because this is a generation that is already starting to prepare for their financial futures — 60 percent have a savings account and 7 percent are already investing in stocks” (Samansky). Compared to Millennials, representatives of Generation Z value money much more and prefer and make savings for the future, for example, for getting an education in a prestigious university. Therefore, their attitude toward spending money is somewhat conservative.
Moreover, most teenagers prefer to buy products of the best quality. Such an option may seem controversial to most people because such goods are more expensive. However, as a rule, qualitative products serve much more extended than cheap replicas. Therefore, it is also one of the ways of preserving money.
One more peculiarity of new generation consumers is higher demand. Most teenagers demand from products and sellers quality and less often stay silent in cases of bad service. It is also much harder for a shop assistant to convince teenagers to buy a specific product as they already know all the necessary details about the thing they need. Moreover, in case of deceit on the part of the seller, or bad quality of the goods, or its breaking in a short time after purchase, adolescents are much more likely to press for replacement of the products or compensation than representatives of previous generations.” And 60% of Generation “What’s taking so long?” is more likely than the average consumer to hang up if the phone is not answered within 45 seconds” (Pickard). It does not mean that the representatives of Generation Z are more impatient. It means they are more serious about the quality of goods and services they buy.
Marketing strategies work well for older people. However, teenagers are less and less sensitive to them. The amounts of advertisements in the media grow exponentially, and it seems that the new generation consumers used to it and learned how to resist. “First, unlike American adults aged 18+ who, for the most part, don’t agree that advertising helps them choose what to buy and don’t enjoy watching promotional spots starring their favorite celebrities, a new poll shows that the majority of US teenagers aged 13-17 do” (Hiebert). Thus, teenagers do not deny that marketing strategies influence them, however, as far as they understand its influence, they can reduce its ‘zombie’ effect.
Therefore, it is possible to conclude that Generation Z consumers are more competent buyers compared to previous generations. They spend money smarter and try to buy a better product at lower price. Moreover, they choose long-lasting quality instead of cheap substandard products, what also leads them to the economy. Their demands are higher making sellers and producers increase the variety of their goods and services. Also, Generation Z consumers understand better what are marketing strategies, advertisements, and their mechanisms of influence, what reduces their vulnerability.
Hiebert, Paul. “While Not All Teens Trust Advertising, Most Admit It Influences Them.” YouGov, today.yougov.com/topics/consumer/articles-reports/2017/05/30/us-teens-admit-advertising-influences-them.
Pickard, Katie. “Marketing to Generation Z: How to Reach Gen Z with Your Brand Message | RR Donnelley.” RRD Communications Blog , 21 Sept. 2018, blog.rrdonnelley.com/marketing-generation-z/.
Samansky, Eric R. “Thought Leaders Outline Actions Designed To Increase Financial Literacy, Enhance Retirement Outcomes And Achieve Financial Well-Being.” Lincoln Financial Newsroom, 2016, newsroom.lfg.com/press-release/corporate/thought-leaders-outlineactions-designed-increase-financial-literacy-enhance.