Gen Z Spending: Value & Values


WGSN | August 11, 2021


At 1.8 billion strong, Gen Z is on retailers’ minds. Values-driven messaging is best received intertwined with quirky aesthetics and sustainability at the core focus. Placing more attention on what value companies can provide, to them or their community, retailers are tasked to grab their attention and loyalty.

Through unforgivably true to themselves, playful content, brands have an opportunity to stop this generation's scrolling. Building a relatable connection allows consumers to feel like they’ve entered an authentic space where trust is of utmost importance. Transparency in this messaging also plays a factor. Being as open and honest as possible, even when full sustainability or diversity has not yet been achieved, will make consumers more inclined to stick around for the ride of the brand’s journey.


Once you've captured the generation's engagement, maintaining it is just as important. Brands must innovate on discount tiers, points systems and gamification of loyalty programs. Shein has created a points program that rewards shoppers for everything from reading emails to uploading photo reviews. By positioning their point system as a “challenge” to accomplish daily, young shoppers are more inclined to spend time interacting with the brand.


For a generation who grew up during the recession, affordability is undeniable. In 2020, 68% of Gen Z used a budgeting system. The hyper-conscious generation has turned to brands who offer alternative payment methods, so they can afford the products and services they feel good about.

More than one third of US Gen Z states that they would give brands a single chance to improve their standing before jumping ship to another. Create a brand connection that taps into their emotional response to the community, gamification of loyalty programs, meeting their financial needs along the way.


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