Look To Gen Z For More Retail Trend-Setting

Forget millennials – well, at least for a moment. So-called Generation Z is also driving much of the innovation when it comes to retail.

Take Target, for instance. To reach consumers on the hunt for offerings that are “clean and natural,” the retail chain rolled out its Everspring household brand. The line includes products such as dish soap, paper towels and laundry detergent. The selections are made from recycled and bio-based materials as well as natural fibers. They will also come with a new “Target Clean” symbol, which indicates that an item is not made with chemicals like propylparaben or sodium laureth sulfate.

The items are sold in small quantities to catch the interest of Generation Z and millennial consumers who aren’t interested in buying in bulk. Reportedly, Target research has shown that these consumers aren’t as loyal to specific brands as older shoppers.

According to research, approximately 40 percent of all shoppers are from Gen Z. Engagement Labs, the data and analytics company that assists marketers, says the group of people born between 1997 and 2016 are 86 million strong, and influence $600 billion of spending by families. This group is also big on conversations, both online and offline: Engagement Labs finds that they drive 19 percent of purchases.

Engagement Labs surveyed 6,736 teens during the course of 12 months about what they talked about in the previous 24 hours, and found that those topics included gadgets, drinks and snack foods. They noted that they found Generation Z to be a very social group of people. As a result, digital devices from the likes of Apple and Samsung are popular with this group, as are food and beverage brands.

Gen Z Trends

That’s not all.

In a survey released by automated parcel locker provider Package Concierge, 58 percent of Generation Z shoppers were said to have used buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) for a purchase. And six in 10 shoppers said it factored into their decision of where to transact, Retail Dive reported.

Package Concierge Founder Georgianna Oliver said, according to the report, “The survey validates what we’ve known to be true: Shopping behaviors are evolving and consumers want options that include both online and in-store experiences. As retailers work to market to the coveted Generation Z demographic, they must [employ] modern methods to attract younger shoppers.”

As well, the brick-and-mortar retail shopping experience is still important to Gen Z. Six in 10 respondents said they had gone to the mall in the past week, while 90 percent reported that they had made a purchase in a store while there.

Fast Fashion

Indeed, fast-fashion apparel retailer rue21 announced it plans to bring the BOPIS offering to over 700 locations. Shoppers can check the availability of a given item in the store nearest to them, make an online purchase and pick up the product without paying shipping fees.

rue21 Chief Analytics Officer Mark Chrystal said “our customers are young, mobile and know what they want – whether that is fashion or flexibility. We developed this mobile-first offering with our customers in mind, and they have loved the ease of buying and trying clothes across channels.”

The retailer is working with Mastek on the development and rollout of the offering to bring the technology for the service to fruition per previous reports. Project implementation encompassed the integration of the company’s website, order management system (OMS), customer service tools and fulfillment provider via MuleSoft and Oracle Commerce.

Millennials still have a lot of influence in retail but don’t turn your back on Generation Z.

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