Move over Millennials, Gen Z (currently ages 10-17) consumers have arrived and despite their youthful age, retailers must take them seriously.

Still adjusting to and trying figuring out the Millennial generation? Don’t get too settled, there is no time for you to sit back and relax. To stay relative you must begin preparing for change. Generation Z, the children of Millennials, are predicted to make up 40% of the North American population by 2020.

These young’uns differ in many ways and are set to make a huge wave in the retail industry.

The HRC Retail Advisory conducted a recent survey of Millennials, Generation Z, Millennial parents, and Gen X parents. The survey, comprised of 3,100 participants from the U.S. and Canada revealed several valuable insights on this new generation of shoppers. There are a lot of things in the study that stood out but we’ll run through the five need-to-knows below.

1. They hold the key to their parents wallet

This is a vocal generation. They are not shy to ask for what they want and they play a large part in shaping the purchases of their millennial parents. Of the Millennial parents surveyed, 82% believe that their children have an increasing influence on their household purchasing decisions.

2. You’ll see them at the mall

According to a report from the National Retail Federation, 92% of them shop in-store. Deep in their devices and the conveniences of the online world, it may come as a shock that they appreciate a hands-on shopping experience. While not exactly ‘mallrats’ they do head to the mall, and 72% in the HRC survey said they visit at least once a month. Of that 72%, 60% spend at least an hour in the mall and 57%  aren’t going to window shop, they are there with the specific intention of making a purchase. 

3. Sales and coupons don’t cut it

Most teens care what their friends think, but to Gen Z, social pressure plays a big role in shopping habits, including where to shop. A total of 89% would be more likely to enter a store based on where their friends are going. It’s no surprise that above coupons and sales, digital tactics such as interactive displays, social media messaging and free Wi-Fi have more influence on them than any other generation.

4. Youtube > Facebook

In contrast with Millennials, Generation Z prefers Youtube over Facebook. It’s not all cat videos and pranks either, they’re on there to learn more. Of those surveyed, 54% said they use Youtube as a research tool daily to gather information. Think makeup tutorials, what products did the Youtuber use?

5. They’re already buying online

Digital is in their DNA. This generation has been raised online and on average are using five screens versus two for Millennials. They’ve watched their parent’s online shop and for them, it is practically second nature. Of the Generation Z respondents, 50% stated that they buy online at least once per month. Prediction: We’ll see that number grow as the generation grows.

In summary? Get ready!

So, what do we know about Gen Z? Similar to Millennials, they crave personalized, interactive experiences and the latest digital advances.They are known to be brand champions both online and offline, especially when brands acknowledge and value their opinions. Inspiring and engaging this emerging generation of consumers with interactive social media and digital advertising mediums will be very important. Retailers should be devoting an increasing percentage of their marketing budget to start targeting this influential generation. Long-term customer retention and brand loyalty are just a few of the benefits of appealing to them at a young age. So when should you start? Yesterday. 

Technology to the rescue. iQmetrix’s endless aisle and digital signage solutions will help you deliver the interactive experiences Gen Z craves.