Until now, Gen Z, the group of people born between 1996 and 2010, have not had enough disposable income to be a priority for most marketers. But this group is growing quickly in size and buying power. Today, about 63 million members of Gen Z live in the US, making up 25% of the U.S. population. In two short years, Gen Z will represent 40% of US consumers. Right now, this group is responsible for $44 billion in spending, and those numbers will only rise as Gen Z enters the workforce en masse.

It’s not surprising that retailers are making Gen Z shoppers a high priority. Piper Jaffray’s latest report on teens’ shopping habits was just released surveying 8,600 teens, identifying brands including Nike, American Eagle and Adidas as teen favorites.[i] Increasingly eCommerce retailers strive to find new ways to fight for little Mikey’s attention while he is snapping away, or to appeal to Amelia, who is busy posting a selfie showing off her new sweater.

Generation Z was born with technology in their hands. To them, the world has always been global and seamlessly connected and they are a diverse group. “55% of Generation Z members nationwide are non-Hispanic Caucasians, 24% are Hispanic, 14% are African-American, 4% are Asian, and 4% are multiracial or other,” according to marketing consultancy Frank N. Magid Associates. As “Digital Natives” Gen Z is pushing retailers to evolve with them. Today, eCommerce retailers are combining retail and media; creating interactive, omnichannel shopping experiences, using user-generated content and kid influencers to entice these savvy young shoppers. And that’s just the marketing side of things.

Two Must Have’s: Diverse International Delivery Options & Seamless Transactions

“Behind the scenes, the most successful retailers are creating dynamic organizational structures to support the seamless, borderless shopping experience that meets Gen Z demands. A cross-border shipping & logistics partner and mobile payments are key to winning in the expansive online arena,” said Mary Beth Dixon, Point2Point Global’s Senior Manager of Strategic Finance.

2017’s Forrester and American Express survey findings report that young shoppers would put their loyalty behind brands that offer “faster or diverse delivery options and frictionless transactions (mobile self-checkouts)[ii].”

Mary Beth notes, “It is indisputable that free shipping is everywhere, and consumers love it, but young consumers are smarter than ever. They expect value and choices, a balance between cost and time in transit. It is the quality of the experience that means the most to them[iii]. Free shipping isn’t everything, tailored shipping solutions are.“

Mobile payments and digital wallets are in. Physical credits cards are out. Offering a seamless transaction during checkout is key to engaging with younger shoppers, specifically Gen Z[ii]. US eCommerce retailers looking to expand their customer base internationally must embrace the global consumer’s needs.

Mary Beth adds, “Emerging world markets simply do not have easy access to traditional payment products. Instead, they have turned to alternative eCommerce payment methods like digital wallets and mobile payments, which are used far more frequently in other countries[iii]. Understanding how to leverage these payment solutions is essential to success.”

eMarketer’s review of the 2017 Forrester and American Express survey reports that young shoppers from 16 to 22 years old are more likely to use mobile payments (e.g. Apple Pay) while 23-27-year-olds were more likely to use third-party money transfers like PayPal and Venmo. Even Millennials, born between the late 1970s through the mid-1990s, are shifting to mobile payments for everyday purchases. [ii]

Time to Go Global

The rising use of mobile payments and digital wallets among young shoppers[ii] paired with Gen Z’s preference for brands offering their shipping preferences[iii] ensures that eCommerce players offering these key features will be most successful in global eCommerce.

Mary Beth acknowledges the challenges retailers face when selling internationally especially when it pertains to shipping.

“International shipping programs are an investment for merchants and there are particularly unique challenges for them. Merchants want to offer competitive shipping rates, but they also need to conquer cross-border clearance and returns. Working with the right cross-border logistics partner makes all the difference.”

Partners, like Point2Point Global, offer cost-efficient solutions that allow merchants the flexibility and margins to entice teens with a customized shipping experience. And, our in-country networks of industry experts and last-mile carriers understand local laws, customs and cultures. This adds the level of reliability, expediency and trust crucial to GenZ shoppers the world over. Talk to us!

[i] https://www.businessinsider.com/nike-american-eagle-adidas-teens-favorite-clothing-brands-2018-10

[ii] https://retail.emarketer.com/article/what-young-shoppers-wantand-how-they-want-pay/593efd61ebd4000b2ceae052

[iii] https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregpetro/2018/10/14/gen-z-new-gender-norms-fake-news-frugality-and-the-rise-of-retails-next-power-generation/#4cc4f14e7382

[iv] https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/fashion/move-over-millennials-here-comes-generation-z.html

[v] https://home.bluesnap.com/snap-center/blog/payment-method-statistics/

[vi] https://www.pymnts.com/news/mobile-payments/2018/millennials-digital-payments-zipline-gas-station-retail/

[vii] https://home.bluesnap.com/snap-center/blog/payment-method-statistics/

[viii] https://www.adyen.com/landing/online/us/whitepaper-gen-z-retail-commerce