Online shopping

How Gen Z is reshaping online shopping

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Gen Z, sometimes known as “zoomers,” are true digital natives, growing up in a time when they take the technology at their fingertips for granted. Born between 1997 and 2012, this group of youngsters may not have as much buying power as their elders, but they already know what they like and dislike when it comes to shopping in line. Businesses are not just listening, they are innovating and reshaping e-commerce to appeal to this group of up-and-coming buyers in interesting ways.

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Generation Z prefers socially responsible companies

For starters, “In terms of shopping trends or behaviors of zoomers, they’re more concerned about who they buy from, and they like to buy from environmentally friendly or socially responsible companies,” said John Frigo, head of of e-commerce for Bestpricenutrition. com. “They care who the CEO of a company is and the history of the company.”

So companies with spotty reputations will have to work a lot harder to woo zoomers’ money.

They are changing the way we pay online

Gen Z may be partly responsible for the sudden advent of new ways to pay that don’t involve credit cards, Frigo said. “I recently saw a stat that 70% of zoomers have used one of these paid apps now – Sezzle, Klarna, AfterPay, etc. – and they’re starting to use them more than credit cards.”

In fact, Gen Z may be less willing to buy on credit than previous generations, said consumer analyst Julie Ramhold of DealNews.com. “It opens the doors to other payment options. This includes things like PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and to some extent, buy-it-now, pay-later programs, as these work differently than traditional credit cards.

Indeed, a GoCardless study found that 84% of 18-24 year olds would like to reduce their use of credit cards, and 87% of 18-24 year olds would rather use interest-free installment providers than credit cards. .

Additionally, according to research published by Alliance Data, nearly 80% of Gen Zers want to manage all their accounts in one place and pay digitally from the one of their choice; half of Gen Z use PayPal for purchases and they prefer person-to-person apps like Venmo.

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Credit card companies will have to offer more benefits

Due to their aversion to credit, Ramhold believes traditional credit card companies will alter their offerings to appeal to younger generations. “We may see more cashback rewards being offered, for example, versus earning points or something like that.”

Social purchases

Another way Gen Z is unique when it comes to shopping is that they’re more into “social shopping,” Ramhold said, using existing social media channels as a way to connect around what and how they do. buy. “Pinterest has already started moving into this area, as has TikTok, and more will no doubt jump on the bandwagon,” she said.

That means young people are “buying based on influence,” said Brian McMahon, CEO and co-founder of Pickle, a social commerce platform. Zoomers are heavily influenced by influencers, he said. “Stylists or designers or general lifestyle influencers on social platforms like TikTok and Instagram have a lot of influence on people’s shopping behaviors, which has led to the trend of social commerce.”

That means commerce sites are turning more to influencers for their marketing and products, McMahon said. “We expect that to accelerate.” Pickle is an example of a “third place of influence: the wisdom of the crowd”.

Social commerce platforms “aim to combine the efficiency of shopping online with the social benefits of shopping in real life, with friends, talking to people in-store…what we lose a lot online is very confined.”

He believes that social commerce “is the next evolution of shopping after e-commerce”.

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Online shopping in physical stores

Another casualty of Zoomers’ love of online shopping is that “physical stores are becoming less relevant as the retail industry improves the online experience, thanks to younger generations”, said Corey Ashton Walters, founder and CEO of Here, an online marketplace. Consumers can easily buy just about anything from the comfort of their own home to avoid long checkout lines and uncertain inventory, especially during the holiday season.

According to a GoDaddy survey, 65% of Gen Z respondents would buy more from small businesses if they had the ability to purchase items online; two in three Gen Zers (66%) said they would be more likely to buy from a small business if they could place their order for delivery or pickup; and Gen Z and Millennials would be happy to never have to set foot in a big chain store again.

Looking for a tailor-made experience

According to Farrell Hudzik, executive vice president of financial institutions, Gen Z also tends to seek out tools and services specifically designed to meet their unique expectations, whether it’s easy online accessibility, SMS communication, transparent/intuitive processes or increased flexibility options. at Cardlytics.

“In response to these wants and needs, new products and services have grown in popularity. For example, the demand for flexibility in payment methods has led to an increase in services such as buy it now, pay later, peer-to-peer lending, and a greater variety of credit offerings. It’s no surprise that the digital native generation wants to wield greater power in their buying decisions – and this has led to an increase in non-traditional financial services, a greater focus on convenience and a strong emphasis on all-digital offerings.

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About the Author

Jordan Rosenfeld is a freelance writer and author of nine books. She holds a BA from Sonoma State University and an MFA from Bennington College. His articles and essays on finance and other topics have appeared in a wide range of publications and clients including The Atlantic, The Billfold, Good Magazine, GoBanking Rates, Daily Worth, Quartz, Medical Economics, The New York Times , Ozy, Paypal, The Washington Post and for many commercial customers. As someone who had to learn a lot of her money lessons the hard way, she enjoys writing about personal finance to empower and educate people on how to make the most of what they have and how to live. a better quality of life.