How to Keep Up With Wants and Needs of Generation Z Consumers

Bematech Blog - October 26, 2016

Generation Z consumers with shopping bags in a retail store Just when you finally had a handle on how to cater to baby boomers and millennials, Generation Z is debuting as an important demographic. These consumers born between approximately 1995 and 2010 comprise 25 percent of the U.S. population and pack a collective annual purchasing power of $44 billion. There are characteristics of Generation Z consumers that you need to know to earn their business:

  1. Price consciousness. Don’t expect them to pay more for identical menu items or merchandise if your competitor down the street offers them for less. Generation Z consumers also expect to be “courted” for their patronage using promotional offers and special deals.
  2. Cash-only. According to a study from Interactions Marketing, 64 percent of Generation Z consumers would rather pay with cash. It’s theorized that because they’ve grown up with credit cards and, in some cases, mobile payments, using cash is novel and “cool.”
  3. Prefer experiences over material things. The majority (62 percent) of Generation Z consumers responding to the Interactions Marketing study are much more interested in spending their money on experiences than things. Top ranked experiences among Generation Z consumers are enjoying food (80 percent) and participating in activities with friends (47 percent). In addition, 75 percent said they prefer to patronize retailers that provide “engaging” shopping experiences.
  4. Minimal brand loyalty Quality, not brand, is of utmost importance to Generation Z. They are likely to switch from the usual brand they use if they find a product with equal or better quality. Labels don’t mean a lot to them. If you continue to provide the quality and experiences they are looking for, however, they’ll stick with you, but you can’t rest on your laurels.
  5. Socially and environmentally conscious. Generation Z consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by the causes businesses support. Environmental friendliness, for example, recycling waste and replacing plastic bags and containers with recyclable paper ones whenever possible, resonates well with this generation.

How Your POS System Can Help

Your Point of Sale (POS) technology can help you enhance dining or shopping experiences for Generation Z customers. One example is using mobile POS to help your staff engage these customers with personalized service, table side or in-aisle sales assisting, and minimizing wait times.

Your POS system can also help you track customer spending habits based on demographics (such as age) to see which items and which price points result in more sales with different customers. You can also make sure you send Generation Z customers the special offers and deals they are looking for.

Of course, make sure your business is prepared to accept any type of payment your customer prefers quickly and efficiently. With so much emphasis this past year on EMV and mobile payments, don’t forget to also evaluate processes for managing cash to prevent loss and make sure cashiers are trained to complete cash transactions efficiently.

While needs and wants of consumers within a certain demographic can vary, keeping these common Generation Z traits in mind can help you win over and encourage repeat business from this new generation of consumers.