How Gen Z is shaping the future of payments

Generation Z describes those born after 1996 - an economic force that is already over 2,6 billion strong. They’re the first truly digital native generation that grew up using the internet, social media and smartphones. Having 24/7 access to digital information and resources, Gen Z is particularly educated and self-reliant when it comes to which brands they choose to support and which products to purchase.

Based on several studies like the 2020 Gen Z report, experts conclude that this generation should by no means be thought of as Millennials 2.0 but a distinct generation with specific beliefs and behaviours. They are certain that Gen Z will bring a massive change in the ways people shop.

What does Gen Z want?

The approach Gen Z has towards brands is a key differentiator and what sets them apart from older generations.

1. Seamless interactions with brands across various channels. They want to share their opinions online, be able to interact with brands and even co-create with them, f. ex. through sharing and tagging content on social media.

2. Technology that adds value and convenience. Innovations should remove frictions and facilitate engagement with brands.

3. They want more for less. Gen Z cares about being socially and environmentally conscious, but they are unwilling to pay more for those products.

4. Individualized experiences. More than any other generation Gen Z values individuality. They want to be seen as unique individuals and demand personalized services and experiences when shopping.

Gen Z are omnichannel shoppers

Having grown up with social media and online purchasing possibilities across various channels has driven specific shopping behaviours and experience expectations among this generation.

They would, for example see a product online, search it on Instagram, look it up in branded stores, go to a department store - maybe do further research on their phone while being there -  and eventually buy it via a webshop or app; all these steps being completely flexible and interchangeable.

Therefore, the main message for merchants is: Omnichannel strategies ensuring seamless shopping experiences across various channels and devices, particularly social media, are key. The ability to shop from Instagram, TikTok or Google is no longer a special luxury and so digital integration of retailers and payment platforms is a must.

One click, one tap

Gen Z doesn’t want to waste time. Having grown up in a fast-paced world where everything is available immediately, there is no tolerance for slow shopping processes. The fewer taps or clicks required to complete a purchase, the better - Amazon has essentially pioneered this with their ‘one click’ option. If any of the steps in the checkout take too long, the risk is that they might simply interrupt the process and shop somewhere else.

There are some simple solutions to avoid interrupted purchases:

  • one-click purchase options
  • pre-filled fields accounts and payment details
  • offer their preferred and used to payment method

Multisafepay offers a mix of over 30 payment methods, including alternative and flexible options that are particularly popular amongst Gen Z consumers, such as digital wallets and “Buy now - Pay later” methods. Solutions like Second Chance emails further help you to decrease shopping cart abandonment in your shop.

Authenticity matters

More than generations before, Gen Z consumers look for authenticity and transparency in brands and businesses. Unobtainable edited imagery for advertisements are out, unfiltered and “authentic” representations are in.

Gen Z consumers are more loyal to brands that they feel reflect their values. Topics like sustainability being high on their agenda, they increasingly expect retailers to embrace circular economy waste practices, actively offering pre-owned and sustainable produced products.

Research shows that businesses aligning with the values of this generation will be generally more successful than those who don’t. Sending strong and consistent messages and leveraging the power of user generated content and social media is particularly helpful to gain the trust of Gen Z.

Gen Z consumers are using social media more than any other generation before. As these networks provide them with a community of opinion and a sense of belonging, they do not only seek to share their lives and opinions with their peers but also to connect with businesses on an emotional level. “Social shopping” is the phenomenon that best describes their way of shopping.

More than any expensive marketing strategy customer content perceived as “authentic” conveys credibility. Consequently, brands do good in leveraging social opinion, encourage user generated content and potentially integrate it into their shop.

Gen Z is all about uniqueness and individual experiences

Gen Z consumers increasingly define themselves through uniqueness and individuality - in the ways they shop, what they shop and also how they expect shops to address them.

They are on the one hand looking for low-commitment and convenient solutions while on the other hand seek to build up their identity based on purchases and brands they feel represent their values. That means, they care about sustainable decisions but also about convenience. Consequently, they would buy from small labels as well as fast fashion. While young consumers are increasingly opting for thrift shops and second hand stores, they would also go for fast fashion stores if a product is faster and more convenient to get that way.

Merchants should keep in mind that convenient shopping directly via social media platforms and fast and effortless checkouts are key to attract Gen Z consumers.

With 20 years of experience in ecommerce and a whole range of payment solutions and tools, MultiSafepay can help you to adapt to the demands of this consumer generation.

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