The first generation to grow up online — Gen Z— is also poised to rank as the most demanding consumer group in history.
That’s according to a new report from Fung Global Retail & Technology, which warns that retailers, restaurants and leisure companies will have to adapt to the wants and needs of Gen Zers (refers to those born in 2001 and later.
Having grown up with social media and assuming instant access to almost all things digital, from music to video to information, Gen Z want it all — and they want it now as they acquire apparel, cosmetics and experiences.
“The new technology products and services have broadened consumers’ range of choice and quickened the pace of life,” said Deborah Weinswig, managing director of Fung Global Retail & Technology. “It is hard not to see these creating a more demanding, image-conscious consumer.”
Gen Z comprises 19% of the U.S. population, and will rise to 25% in 2020. In the EU, the generation accounts for 16% of the population, and is forecast to peak at 21% in five years.
The only generation to grow up with the on-demand economy, Gen Zers likely will continue to be highly demanding consumers, whether they are requesting instant access to video, ride-hailing apps or delivery services.
“Exposure to near-infinite choice and access to near-endless information makes this generation more demanding than any of its predecessors,” Weinswig said. “As Gen Z matures, it will become more discerning, but its demanding nature is unlikely to be diluted. We think brands and retailers will be the ones that need to change, because Gen Z looks unlikely to compromise on its high expectations.”