Born after 1995, Gen Z has never known life without the internet or social media. How will their consumer behaviour and spending patterns shape business travel in the future?
According to recent research, the world’s youngest generation already has $44 billion in spending power, makes up 26% of the population, and will account for 40% of all consumers by 2020.
Meet the new kids on the block. Here are 5 things to know about Gen Z:
They don’t do debt
Gen Z grew up during the recession and witnessed Millennials (often older siblings and cousins) become bogged down in debt from student loans and credit cards. Their mentality is shaped by the expectation that they will have to work harder than the generations before them. When it comes to travel, they take a more for less approach, preferring to opt for more affordable flights and accommodation in order to stay longer in a destination and experience more of it.
They value authenticity and transparency
As adept researchers, Gen Z-ers know how to self-educate and find information. They watch lessons online, read textbooks on tablets, and even collaborate with classmates online. Because of their natural self-education, they don’t respond to canned, overproduced or traditional ideologies – whether in their working environment, online or on holiday. These future innovators are set to change the business landscape through digitalisation – yet at the same time prioritise the value of real human connections. On their travels, they want to live like a local and immerse themselves in a destination in a more authentic way, connecting with people they don’t know.
They are digital natives who like to shop in-store
While shocking for a generation of digital natives, Gen Z prefers a combination of digital and in-store shopping. They are hyper-conscious of their spending habits and use their digital savvy to research products online before visiting brick and mortar locations to verify that their purchases are worth their money. However, they still expect an engaging experience in-store: demonstrations, free classes and more can all be used to enhance the customer experience and encourage two-way interaction.
They MUST have access to the internet
Technology is not just second nature to Gen Z; it is an integral part of who they are. Gen Z has been hyper-connected to the internet since birth, so being connected for them is not a desire – it is a necessity. Social media influences 80% of purchases made by Gen Z. This is not surprising, considering that many of Gen Z-ers check social media up to 100 times each day on preferred social networks like Snapchat, Secret, and Whisper. Interesting to note is that this generation has almost altogether abandoned Facebook.
They are not just curators; they are creators
The amount of video content this generation consumes and posts on social media is mind-boggling compared to every other generation. 25% post original videos every week because they believe self-expression is very important, and while being part of a conversation is essential to them, they also want to own their own narratives.
Are you as excited about Gen Z as we are? Stay tuned for more insights from Thompsons Travel on how to harness the power of the new generation.