Technology is an intrinsic part of the lives of Gen Z (anyone born between 1995 and 2012) and according to a 2019 Bloomberg report, Gen Z made up for 32% of the global population. India’s Gen Z population currently stands at 472 million and as per a report, on average, an Indian Gen Z spends eight hours per day online. As these centennials enter into adulthood, they are becoming an increasingly important target audience, and it is no surprise that retailers and commercial organisations are shifting their focus to cater for the needs of Gen Z. Here are some key areas that can help you tailor a great experience for your future customers:

Be personal and authentic

Gen Z is used to hyper-personalised offerings, be it from shopping websites, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, or music streaming services like Spotify. So it goes without saying that as a brand you need to be authentic and offer a personalized experience that fits their values and lifestyle and keeps them excited. In a recent survey, Gen Zs were asked to reflect on their values and choose what was most important to them personally and honesty topped the list for Indians. This suggests that Indian Gen Z will value honesty and authenticity even when they are evaluating brand offerings.

With an attention span lesser than that of goldfish (nine seconds, Gen Z at eight seconds), the need to communicate a message quickly is crucial. So while you work at making the message personalized and authentic, remember to also make it short and visual.

As Gen Z spends a lot of their time online, they are surrounded by a barrage of information. With a ton of available options to choose from, they tend to skip the ads if it does not get them hooked within a few seconds. So ensure that you connect with them in the first few seconds and are available where they go. If you are not on social media channels such as Instagram, YouTube, etc. you do not exist for Gen Z.

Prioritise mobile-friendly experience

With Gen Z you cannot leave anything for later as they prefer browsing before experiencing. For example, if they want to shop for clothes or cosmetics, they will explore a lot of available options, read reviews, watch videos etc. In the same way, before experiencing a restaurant they will look at Instagram tags, reviews, photos, etc. So the only option that you have is to make the mobile experience a priority for this digitally savvy generation.

This is also true for the payment methods. Indian Gen Zs who are used to using digital payment options prefer using e-wallets and UPI. Therefore brands seeking to earn the favour of Gen Z will need to cater to their payment preferences. By offering multiple payment options you will eventually improve the experience that your brand provides. This also encourages your customers to come back and buy your services or products again. The use of ‘buy now pay later' (BNPL) is also becoming very popular among Indian Gen Zs as it increases affordability and convenience. The Global Payments report 2021 estimates BNPL growth at 53% CAGR, making it the fastest growing online payment methods in the near future. As a brand, you must ensure that you make available all the payment methods that your young target audience prefers.

Innovate for a hyper-connected generation

The Gen Z population can be upbeat and hopeful, but they can also be quite stressed. As a brand, if you can take off some of that stress in a way that aligns with your product and service offering, then you will be tapping into a key sentiment. This 'iGeneration' is all about convenience, it reflects in their online behaviour, social media habits and their liking towards personalisation. So offer them the convenience in terms of products, services, online experience and multiple payment options, etc.

Views are personal. The author is Managing Director of Asia Pacific, Worldpay from FIS.

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