Survey Finds Brands Struggle to Connect With Gen Z Consumers

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It’s becoming increasingly harder to keep up with Generation Z consumers as they move from store to web to mobile to social and back again with unprecedented agility.

A recent IBM study of 15,000 Gen Z shoppers, titled “Disruptive and Distinctive, Gen Z Shoppers Are Growing Up” found the following:

  • Despite living largely digital lives, 67 percent of Gen Z prefer to shop in a brick-and-mortar store all the time, with another 31 percent preferring to shop in-store sometimes.
  • 66 percent frequently use more than one device and 60 percent will not use an app or website if it is too slow to load.
  • Gen Zers demand highly personalized interactions, value quality over price and want to be engaged with the brand across all channels.

The study found that the cohort represents $44 billion in estimated buying power.

“Despite their young ages, members of Generation Z already hold unprecedented influence over family purchasing decisions and wield enormous economic power, ” reported IBM. “Retail and consumer products brands must engage the upcoming Gen Zers now to prosper tomorrow.”

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In a separate customer experience study of more than 500 brands in 24 countries, IBM found that businesses are struggling to deliver on the expectations of consumers:

  • Only 19 percent of retailers can provide a highly personalized digital shopping experience
  • Only 17 percent can provide more than in stock/out of stock information.
  • 84 percent did not offer any in-store mobile services.

“In this new era of customer engagement, what will separate the winners from everyone else is a differentiated brand experience that delivers high impact engagements with compelling personalization regardless of where the customer is,” said Harriet Green, GM IBM Watson Customer Engagement, in a press release. “With Watson Cognitive Engagement solutions, IBM is working with retailers across globe to make these experiences a reality for millions of consumers.”

IBM Watson Customer Engagement is helping leading retailers such as HSN, 1-800-FLOWERS.com and Ermes drive enduring brand loyalty with all generations of customers.

A growing force, Gen Z consumers number about 2 billion globally today, according to a new study from Kantar Millward Brown. “AdReaction: Engaging Gen X, Y and Z,” the first comprehensive global study of Gen Z, found that “36% of Gen Z globally access Instagram several times a day and 24% access Snapchat at the same frequency, compared to 21% and 10% respectively for Gen Y (those aged 20-34) and 9% and 4% for Gen X (those aged 35-49).”

“Gen Z have grown up in an on-demand world of infinite choice, and this flavours their expectations of advertising,” said Duncan Southgate, global brand director at Kantar Millward Brown. “They are much more attracted to ads that allow them to co-create or shape what happens, compared to Gens Y and X, who have a higher preference to link to more information about the brand.”

We are sure the Teen B.E.A.T. Summit will become the bridge from brand to Gen Z consumer….Spring Break 2017, Atlanta GA.