Born between 1997 and 2012, they are the digital natives now entering the workforce, earning money and making their mark on the world. Brands are paying close attention to their preferences and spending habits, and ensuring their products and services meet the convenience benchmark and are aligned to their preferences as far as possible.
These are some of the top the Gen Z consumer habits every brand needs to know about:
Notable appreciation for tech
Tech affects everything from these consumers’ gym habits, to how they work, deal with insurance, and drive. Gen Zs trust technology and use it for researching products and services, and for comparing prices based on what they find on social media and online reviews. They are also more receptive to tech advancements like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning than other generations.
“Gen Zs interact with tech more than the other working groups in their daily lives on a personal level. Businesses know this and are challenged to reflect this in their offerings, or risk getting left behind,” says head of fully-digital car insurer MiWay Blink, Keletso Mpisane.
What’s more, ninety seven percent of Gen Zs say they use social media to shop, which is a big positive for businesses and researchers, as the number of smartphone users in South Africa is expected to rise to 26.3 million by the end of 2023.
Gen Zs seek authenticity, honesty, and depth
According to research conducted by international consulting firm EY, ninety two percent of Gen Zs indicated that being authentic and true to oneself is extremely important, even beyond future plans and being rich.
“Gen Zs want authentic, meaningful and honest products and services. They also want products that allow them to create their own customer experiences, as opposed to mass produced products”, Mpisane explains.
She adds, “As an insurer, we’ve paid close attention to this, and our products suit this requirement by offering them customised products to the point where they even determine their own premiums”.
Gen Z has a strong sense of social responsibility and is looking for ways to make a positive impact in the world. By marketing to this demographic, brands can tap into this desire to do good and engage this audience around its important causes, and make social impact themselves.
How to attract Gen Z customers
Some of the key differences between Gen Zs and other age groups is that they prefer personalised products and services, and demand authentic and meaningful experiences as prerequisites for doing business with organisations.
Mpisane says, “Tech advancements have become more prominent in insurance, as an example, and these young customers expect certain tech features in products for the insurers to be competitive in the market. These include aspects like mobile app convenience.”
She adds, “The way the youth interact with technology has increased the influence tech has on the overall sector but also brought new possibilities. For example, tech allows us to give a cash back benefit to customers. If an insured customer drives less than 2,500kms a month, we give them a cash-back refund on the premium they paid that month. The refund gets more the less you drive, so, for example, if a customer doesn’t drive at all in a month, a refund of up to 50% of that month’s premium is paid back to them.”