We are in the year of technology 4.0. There is an incoming wave from the next customer generation, who will dominate the market as they gradually become the primary customers for brands.
But who are they? How old are they now? And how will their shopping behaviors “shape” the Ecommerce world out of its traditional way? This post will lie with all the answers you need.
Generation Z is the ones who were born during the year from 1995 to 2010, with the total global population around 2.52 billion, distributed 14.5 million in the UK, 61 million in the US, and 4.6 million in Australia. They currently range from 9 – 24 years old.
It is sufficient to say that they’re the prominent generation for the e-commerce trends and are predicted to be the ones with much E-Commerce purchasing power as they prioritize success more than previous generations.
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Gen Y vs. Gen Z Online Shopping Behaviors, How it is influencing Ecommerce Trends
The current e-commerce trends are set by the generation preceding Generation Z, the Millennials. Finding out the differences between Gen Y and Gen Z online shopping behaviors will help us understand the largest group of online shoppers’ decision-making journeys and effectively respond with ecommerce strategies.
There are a few differences between Gen Y and Gen Z when it comes to shopping online:
Financial Conservation: While Millennials were raised in an economic boom, are positive, trusting, and work collaboratively, Gen Z was born during the economic recession, so their approach toward finance is more conservative. Gen Z online shopping is often with debit cards and mobile banking instead of credit cards.
Millennials place more emphasis on customer experiences, and 75% are willing to pay more for better customer service, but only 69% of Gen Z do so. Post-Millennials place more value in saving and purchase efficiency; therefore, they highly prefer great products over satisfying customer experiences.
Mobile Shopping: Gen Z shopping habits are often revolving around the virtual world since the Internet has always existed for this consumer group. Gen Z is comfortable with mobile devices, tablets, while 32% of Millenials prefer to make ecommerce purchases on computers. Since 60% of them use their phone over 6 hours/ day, and browser products’ information several times a day, it’s key to convert these browsers into buyers.
In-store Pickup: Gen Z often buy online, but they prefer to pick the product at the store as they want to feel and look at the product to confirm the quality. For distance online stores, hands-on review videos and ads are the right tactics.
Tech-natives: Born in the era of technology, Gen Z are digital natives, and therefore they have high expectations from technologies. They’re not amused with innovations but instead take them for granted. Gen Z shopping habits attract them to high ecommerce UX and responsive websites.
Online Shopping Security: Gen Z is aware of the risks when shopping online, so they tend to be cautious about customer’s information required at checkout and the secure payment options available on online stores such as Paypal, etc. First impression matter – They will immediately feel trusting or distrust when seeing the website for the first time.
They tend to plan their purchases (which is why shopping lists are necessary), and for gen Z online shopping habits, they often come to sites that many people before them gave good reviews instead of hooked on advertisements.
Short Attention Spans: Gen Z online shopping has become tricky for marketers since their attention spans are shorter than Millennials and older generations. Gen Z online shopping members pay a maximum of 8 seconds, while their predecessor’s concentration length is at least 12 seconds. There are hundreds of Ads and videos going through Gen Z smartphones, which diversify their attention and push businesses to create shorter and more information filling marketing contents.
Brand Loyalty: Gen Z could follow your brand on social networks, but that doesn’t mean they are loyal to you. The statistics of US Gen Z shopping habits show that only 43% of people in age group 8 – 24 are in brand loyalty programs. The number has also decreased over generations, which means online stores would have a much harder time keeping shoppers.
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New Ecommerce Trends for Gen Z
So from what we know of Generation Z and their shopping habits, we can predict some incoming ecommerce trends that store owners should prepare for. As Gen Z is the most prominent customer of the market, it’s important to win them over.
Every ecommerce going mobile is something that could be anticipated from Gen Z shopping habits of using mobile phones and tablets. According to Oberlo, mobile ecommerce sales are projected to reach $2.91 trillion in 2020, and more businesses are building their mobile sites to capture gen Z e-commerce trends.
If your website isn’t mobile-appealing and fast performing on portable devices, your brand doesn’t exist for generation Z online shopping. It’s that simple.
Secure and UI, UX responsive websites
The second ecommerce trend that merchants aim for is maximizing Ecommerce UX, UI, and turning their website responsive. Gen Z is cautious buyers and careful where to put their money. With their purchasing power over $143 billion, it’s worth the effort to make websites more reliable to get Gen Z notices. And their first impression of reliability? Greate design and fast performance are the number one criteria these teenagers and young adults use to assess if the page was trustworthy or not.
Secure Payments and Competition
It’s common for people to use eWallet these days instead of filling the customer information form, due to its convenience and privacy concerns. Gen Z is no different.
Gen Z shopping habits generally dislike being monitored by “big companies”; therefore, they will avoid providing private information.
Generation Z is more aware of alternatives payment methods than the rest of the population (84% to 76% with app payments, 83% to 82% with mobile wallets, prepaid vouchers 61% to 57%, and online cash solutions 61% vs. 55%.). Therefore they prefer the website they shop to support a wide range of payment methods.
Also, 40% of customers from this generation using some in-app payments, and about 15% using them regularly.
This pattern has brought a big ecommerce trend of equipping online shops with in-app purchases and different payment methods including e-wallets, e-banking, credit, etc.
And because there are many online shopping choices, Gen Z will not stick to one brand, and companies have to compete with each other by making their website flawless and fast.
Especially with the short attention young consumers can give, 40% of them wait no further than 3 seconds before exiting the site.
Social Website Advertising
The Internet and social media networks have influenced not just Gen Z online shopping but also almost all of their life aspects, and marketers can approach them through these communication channels.
Social Media Advertising ecommerce trend is also different from generation to generation.
From the percentage of social media usage above, we could see that while for Millennials, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram have been their main browsing networks, with Gen Z, they spend time more on Youtube, Instagram, and Snapchat.
If you want some advice in the art of advertising on Instagram or some other social networks alike, then get on with the tips provided in the link below.
Based on the fact that these apps are video and image focus apps, we can predict that Gen Z might respond better to graphic marketing format, and prefer advertisements in either image or video form.
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What do Online Stores/Magento Merchants Need For Upcoming Gen Z Ecommerce Trends?
We are in 2020, and Generation Z is arriving in adulthood. And from what we have said in the section above, every merchant would see an opportunity to capture the interest of this probably the biggest group of consumers over their previous generation, and would have even more purchasing power once they inherit from their parents.
What do ecommerce sites and Magneto merchants need to look out for, and how can they transition to adapt to Gen Z online shopping habits?
Rich Content & Various Marketing Format
According to statistics, Gen Z surf browsers when they “don’t have things to do”. And they’re more influenced by images & video over texts.
To catch up with the changing e-commerce trends, you need to enrich your content with images, videos, banners, and various other formats. And most importantly, these formats should be accessible fast on any mobile device(phones, tablet, etc.)
Furthermore, your ads and banners should be short and informative; otherwise, they will skip through them as they could spend time concentrating on the information you’re delivering.
Be sure to place banners in viewers’ eyes range to attract their attention, although being able to keep your ads in the first place of Google Search Result is hard work in itself, which is related to both SEO and your page’s speed.
For ecommerce merchants and Magento store owners, it might be acceptable to use the ecommerce platforms built-in content management system. But as managing content isn’t the primary purpose of these infrastructures, they lack features for robust and diverse contents and not very user-friendly for store owners without much programming skills.
Therefore, to manage various content forms, you should consider having a separate CMS system for your website.
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For the increasing trend of using faster, better websites, websites must have speed in order to stay in competition with Gen Z shoppers. Generation Z has short attention spans, so they will close a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, and by 4 seconds, a business loses an estimated 25% of its online visitors.
However, the truth is most landing pages don’t reach the recommended level by Google on 3G network. You can see the average of ecommerce sites and Magento 2 performance in different industries according to the research conducted by Google:
So which tips should ecommerce and Magento merchants have in their hands for the incoming tech – natives? It’s simple. Test your site speed and perform Magento 2 optimize speed actions accordingly.
Google PageSpeed Insight can test your ecommerce/ Magento 2 performance, and across different devices. It gives detailed data about your URL testing results, and different color indicates the range of score that your website fall in.
Red (poor score): 0-49
Orange (average): 50-89
Green (good): 90-100
After providing an overall assessment of the site performance, Google PageSpeed Insight can suggest some solutions to improve your site’s score. Whether you are an ecommerce or Magento store owner in need of Magento 2 optimize speed tips, you’ll find the tool quite helpful in improving the site’s speed to adapt to Gen Z shopping habits.
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Website Security and Performance
For Gen Z who was born with technology, they take website quality for granted, and they are skeptical about the site’s security and payment methods.
With Magento merchants and as well as other ecommerce sites, if your site has some code errors, or there are bugs that make some feature on your website dysfunctional, they will speculate that there are some Magento security issues, and exit the site.
For Magento vendors, the best option is to assign your site to your developing team to regularly maintain and spot any Magento security issues that occur during the website operating periods.
However, for startups and small business entrepreneurs with little resources on hand, keeping a developing team can be slightly costly.
Therefore another choice would be to hire a maintenance service to help you with keeping your website bug-free. However, as an ecommerce store owner, we advise you to choose a maintenance service that has major activities focusing on the platform that your business uses.
For example, if you are a Magento store owner, you can find a Magento maintenance service provider to look at your Magento security issues, rather than using general website maintenance service.
The platform specialists will be able to give you more detailed and in-depth solutions, as they understand specifically about your platform and have experiences in dealing with websites built on the platform before.
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Gen Z also only trusts a limited number of payment methods, go make sure your site has the needed Payment Gateways. Like maintaining your site, you can either assign your team or work with a Website Development Service provider to integrate the required payment methods to your website.
PWA – The Furture of Ecommerce
Gen Z adores shopping on mobile phones and tablets and demands ecommerce websites to have app-like features, responsive, and convenient to open on their home screen.
While you can build a native app to work alongside traditional shopping websites as a solution to follow the e-commerce trends, it would be twice costly and time-consuming, which means bad news for investors.
This comes Progressive Web Apps, the new future solution that combines both features from native apps and online websites. PWA works on an enhanced modern API, making it possible to perform like an app while still keeping all websites’ benefits.
There are a few reasons why PWA (Progressive Web Apps) appeal to ecommerce and Magento store owners:
- Better Ecommerce UX, UI interface, and more responsive websites
- Faster to develop and maintain
- No need to bother dealing with apps store.
- Smaller size than regular iOS or Android apps.
- Consumers can find the PWA website right on Google.
- PWA can be use on any browser, any device platforms.
- Compatible with both Magento 1 and Magento 2, although we would recommend migrating if you still use Magento 1.
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If you are merchants who have already had PWA integrate on your store, then would want to have an optimized PWA website for high conversion. Here are some tips for the best performing Progressive Web Apps:
- Keep It Simple: Remember that on phone, simplicity is sophisticated. The phone’s screen is roughly 3 – 5 inches, while on desktop you have 20 – 30 inches of display. On these small screens, information density can make it difficult for visitors to view and read.
- Ensure Smooth Navigation, Avoid Glitches and Frictions: It’s important for PWA websites to free of glitches and frictions, and have smooth navigation across the site.
- Cross-browser Capabilities: Make sure your PWA website is well- functioned across all browsers. The more browsers it can reach, the more users you can convert.
- Create an Offline Mode: It’s always a plus to be able to operate offline, as statistics pointed out. According to research from Trivago, 67% of users come back to work online after disconnection due to the site having some offline activities for them to kill time.
- Make it Discoverable: While designing PWA, keep in mind that the website should still retain some aspect from a website, which means it should be discoverable by Google and have SEO friendly contents.
After Gen Z, who is next?
If you have made it here, then, congratulations! You finally figured out Generation Z and their e-commerce trends!
But there is no time to rest yet. Because as Gen Z succeeds Millennials, there will soon be new kids on the block: Generation Alpha.
While Gen Z shopping habits are predictable since some of them have reached maturity, the kids who were born from 2010 to 2025 still have little influence on their parent’s purchasing decisions.
But we can anticipate based on what we know from Generation Alpha behavior. They are tech-dependent with almost a third of the respondents said they prefer to play outside rather than watching Youtube on their phones.
Generation Alpha also questioned everything they see online, and 31% of them said they can spot fake news. They’re “digital masters”, will protest for the cause they believe is right, and enjoy creating games or creative video making.
From what we can gather, Generation Alpha would be demanding more gadgets, and because they’re likely to be fashion creators and influencers, some brands choose to establish long-term relationships with their customers early on.
Their expectations with marketing and ecommerce UX, UI will be put higher, as well as the mobile option when shopping online, so businesses will have to adapt the store with a mobile-friendly interface and improve the performance on mobile devices.
Wrapping it all up, we’ve entered the era of great changes in online shopping between generations, due to the rapid changes in technology. Generation Z demands quality, fast, and convenient on-the-go websites, which push ecommerce brands to evolve. But you can feel lost as to which e-commerce trends are there, and how can you get started to accommodate it. We have covered all about Gen Z shopping habits, the e-commerce trends, and what merchants need to attract Gen Z. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask us, we will get back to you in the shortest time possible.
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