Generation Z, the group coming up right behind Millennials, will overtake Gen Y as the country's largest cohort by 2034, ultimately peaking at 78 million. Members of Gen Z—those born between 1997 and 2012—have different shopping habits than the generations before them, and retailers can't afford to ignore this critical group of shoppers.
Here are six facts about Gen Z that can help truckstop operators connect with this powerful customer base.
They Buy What They Want
Members of Gen Zs are impulsive shoppers. Compared to older Millennials, nearly 60 percent more said they made a purchase just because they wanted to buy something or because they randomly saw an item they liked, Accenture reported.
Like Millennials, Gen Z shoppers mostly buy things based on three factors: receiving the lowest price, seeing products in stores and reading reviews.
They Value the In-Store Experience
Gen Z is looking for an experience when shopping, according to Accenture.
This means it is helpful for retailers to move away from selling products and toward creating experiences and telling stories. Among Gen Zs, the majority, 60 percent, still prefer visiting stores to make their purchases, and nearly half (46 percent) will still check in store to get more information before making an online purchase.
Convenience is so important to this generation, the argument could be made that Generation Zers are lazier than Millennials, having adjusted to having household items delivered and ride-sharing services appearing at their doorsteps, Fluent reported. These young adults are much more likely to be students or just starting in their careers and make less money on average; however, they will pay more for convenience regularly.
Made in the USA Matters
Gen Z is more patriotic than their older counterparts. When deciding where to shop, they also care more about brand contributions to the local community and shared core values, Fluent reported.
To better connect with this audience, retailers can highlight local production and community involvement.
Dining Out is a Priority
Limited-service restaurants already check several boxes on Gen Z’s wish list: convenient, affordable, experiential and customizable. As patrons of both fast food and fast casual, Gen Zers are willing to spend their limited dollars on dining out. The caveat is that restaurants must meet their relatively high standards, both in terms of the food and the experience.
Rewards are Important
Generation Z is far more enthusiastic about rewards programs than Millennials, RR Donnley reported. What's more, about two-thirds of Gen Z already participates in at least one loyalty program, according to CrowdTwist. The generations also differ in the type of rewards they want: while both like member-only discounts and free samples, Gen Z prioritizes personalized promotions. Gen Z also prefers a physical card.
Photo credit: Bigstock
Subscribe to Updates
NATSO provides a breadth of information created to strengthen travel plazas’ ability to meet the needs of the travelling public in an age of disruption. This includes knowledge filled blog posts, articles and publications. If you would like to receive a digest of blog post and articles directly in your inbox, please provide your name, email and the frequency of the updates you want to receive the email digest.