Swipe, Swap or Shop

How Gen Z is keeping retail marketers on their toes, and in the cloud

In a digital world where everything is up for sale all the time, Gen Z is having the time of their lives!

This demographic is unlike any other buying group – more digitally savvy, more socially engaged, more selective, more proactive and more reactive to the metaverse. Today, Gen Z makes up around 25% of the global population. But their impact on retail revenue is even larger than the number suggests. In fact, they have a combined spending power of ~USD 400 billion in the US alone.​

The first of the digital natives

Among the first to have grown up with digital tech and the internet always the first and last thing they see each day, this generation is all about the tech - whether it’s on their wrists, in their hands or in the air. Because their perception of the retail universe, much like any other aspect of their lives, is through a digital lens, retailers are investing heavily in digital infrastructure to meet this highly targeted group’s tech-fueled, in the moment expectations.

This means online shopping, mobile apps and AR/VR experiences are now the norm. We’ve gone from physical stores to e-carts, cash to credit, swipes to taps in the blink of an eye. But this is only the beginning, with retailers continuously raising the game by adopting the latest tech for more seamless, immersive and convenient consumer experiences. And it all starts with social media.

If you’re not socially connected, you’re not connecting with consumers
Gen Z lives and breathes social media, and social media platforms are their one-stop shop for inspiration and influence – the heart and soul of their tastes.​​

But it’s not just Gen Z… even older generations are jumping on board, using these platforms to get style tips, product suggestions and lifestyle ideas. With social media becoming a digital bridge across generations, ​retailers are catching on fast, expanding their reach and ramping up their ability to meet unique demands.​

If its personalized, it’s going to sell like hotcakes… hotcakes made to order and available in seconds

Personalization has become the cornerstone of retail and CPG strategies. To make quick buying decisions, Gen Z expects tailored shopping experiences, from personalized product recommendations to custom-made products. No one size fits all for a Gen Z even as they continue to buy “one size fits all” clothing.

With the power of analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), marketers can now provide individualized shopping journeys that align with the unique preferences of each customer. In fact, this has driven several aspiring entrepreneurs to launch new businesses. We’re seeing a rising tide of small and medium new businesses thriving exceptionally well in the retail and CPG landscape because of the sheer scope of personalization.

Add to OmniCart: one cart, multiple channels, limitless possibilities

As shoppers, Gen Z demands nothing short of a seamless journey – whether they're walking through a physical store, scrolling on e-commerce sites or swiping through their fave social media hangouts. When they’re hopping from one channel to another, they expect the vibe to remain consistent and the experiences to remain frictionless. Life is a beach, especially when shopping for beachwear at the shore. Naturally, marketers are jumping onto the bandwagon and making sure that whether you're in a store, on a website or checking out their posts on Instagram, you get the same brand feel. The intent is such that a customer’s shopping journey can start anywhere and end anywhere, but it's always on point!

Consider this global retail chain that sells a wide variety of optical products. In order to recreate an in-store experience for online shoppers, the brand introduced shopping guides and a virtual try-on feature. This feature provides customers with a comprehensive view of how their glasses will look and fit on the customers, offering a 180-degree perspective. While omnichannel entities are already making waves in the retail game, advancements in AI are generating exciting possibilities for the road ahead.

Gen Z meets Gen AI…the next retail paradigm
We are now witnessing the emergence of the next retail paradigm, where AI is reshaping the future of shopping experiences for a digitally savvy crowd. ​

Raise your retail game with HARMAN Digital Transformation Solutions

HARMAN Digital Transformation Solutions​ empowers global retail and CPG giants to navigate the ever-evolving landscape. With a keen understanding of the dynamic interplay between technology and consumer behavior, we enable businesses to thrive in this digital age.

We strategically deploy generative AI tech for our retail and CPG clients, combining data analytics, automation and personalization to enhance customer engagement, streamline operations and foster innovation.​

Contact us to accelerate your retail and CPG transformation today.

Sanjeev Deshmukh

Senior ​Director, Consumer Vertical
LinkedIn Sanjeev Deshmukh