eneration Z, born between 1995 and 2012, are the collection of youths that have entered a world of technology right from the offset, and this has shaped their mindset and characteristics in a very distinctive way. They have never faced living without the existence of the Internet, and most of them are fully comfortable using social media on a regular basis and having it fully integrated within their daily lives, both professionally and socially.
A survey of 80,000 Gen Z participants by ClickZ in June 2019 showed that 97% of them owned a smartphone, with 64% saying they were constantly online, and users spending on average 4 hours and 15 minutes every day on their smartphone. Staggering as these statistics may be, they also show no signs of decline either and have been increasing year on year.
Gen Z currently make up approximately 30-35% of the global population, and with the average person receiving their first smartphone at age 12, it’s important for business and service providers to take note of their habits and their preferences and tap into them accordingly.
Teenagers make most of their purchases online, and their buying behaviour is typically dictated by social media. The trending profile of that product or service online is the ultimate stamp of approval for a Gen Z consumer, and validates that it is useful, trusted and fashionable.
Being immersed in ‘screen time’ for so much of their time means acquiring a much wider knowledge and appreciation of society and global issues. Gen Z are active in making sustainable, environmentally friendly choices, and are concerned about making a difference more than their older friends and family. They are exposed to topics and discussions from far-reaching communities through the power of the Internet, and therefore better equipped to identify the benefits of their decisions.
Gen Z youngsters have begun earning money at a much earlier age than their parents thanks to so many more opportunities available to them, and are usually found to be more independent, self-confident and free. As a result, Gen Z are comfortable with travel, different experiences and embracing new challenges, and will be happy to forgo traditionalist views to embrace a unique idea and a modern way of doing something.
With all this non-conformism, Gen Z actually exist in a society of convenience and fast access. They are used to getting things done fast and expect instant gratification from all areas of their life. It may be a picture posted on social media, or a service in a hotel – whatever they are experiencing, they will require it to be done immediately, without sparing on high quality.
A short attention span, a frugal mindset, a fast-paced schedule – it would be easy to dismiss this generation as finicky and demanding. The reality is that they are trailblazers – using the enormous array of resources available to them to make wise choices, choices that make a difference, and choices that get the job done efficiently. Understanding the way these young people think and live is integral to running a successful business, and therefore being able to provide something innovative and exceptional enough to capture their interest.