eCommerce News Australia logo
The latest digital commerce news for Aussie businesses
Story image

Understanding modern retail through the Gen Z filter

By Contributor
Wed 27 Jul 2022

Article by Manhattan Associates SEA managing director Richard Wright.

Over the past decade, retailers faced the challenge of managing their own digital transformation while simultaneously scrambling to serve the needs of a younger and increasingly online-savvy audience, generally accepted as being digitally native. 

Today, brands are additionally tested to plan and accommodate for the increasing buying power of the emerging 11-24 age group of shoppers, colloquially known as ‘Gen Z’ or ‘Zoomers’.

Generation Omnichannel

Perhaps a more fitting nickname for Gen Z or Zoomers would be ‘Generation Omnichannel’, as this is the first genuinely omnichannel generation to both physical and online stores and social media platforms in equal measure. 

This group is prepared to shop wherever suits them best and in a more impulsive and immediate way. According to a recent article in Vogue, Zoomers are 56% more likely to have shopped for fashion in-store over the last three months and 38% more likely to have shopped online in the same timeframe.

They are willing to shop across all channels and have an appetite for higher-quality items in an effort to stay on trend with cultural developments. This awareness of cultural trends is also leading to some key generational spending indicators - not to mention that Gen Z consumers are more conscious about the planet and the future. They believe that the generations before them represented overconsumption, capitalism, and materialism, meaning they are more likely to associate themselves (and their wallets) with brands that match their own core values, such as sustainability, environmentalism, and equality.

At the same time, Gen Z has been called the most critical consumer group of all, with a fundamentally different view of shopping and consumption to previous generations. They are the latest to enter the workforce and will have strong purchasing power over the next decade, meaning brands have to earn their loyalty before they become loyal shoppers.

Furthermore, Zoomers’ frequency of shopping for new items is being disrupted by the second-hand, preloved, vintage market – a market that Zoomers are 27% more likely to shop in. In Australia, preloved and vintage platforms, such as Depop & Vinted, are arguably slowing the cycle of new purchases and redefining the concept of the customer journey and what it really means to be ‘new’.

Embracing new and all forms of payments

According to PayPal, 22% of Zoomers have used buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) solutions such as Klarna and Afterpay since the start of the pandemic to buy more expensive, higher-quality products. In the same period, 123% more Zoomers have used BNPL than previously, representing the most substantial uptake of any generation – and during April 2021, 33% of Gen Z respondents said they were likely to use BNPL solutions in the future too.

Furthermore, Gen Z has continued to embrace mobile payment options such as mobile apps and e-wallets, including Apple and Android Pay, faster than any other consumer spending group. This expectation of being able to pay now or later, with a device or platform is something that permeates Gen Z spending habits enormously, meaning traditional payment and Point-of-Sale (POS) technologies need to be modernised to offer these different payment options.

A window to the future

The pandemic and the associated rise in online activity grew usage and acceptance of eCommerce amongst consumers, regardless of generational status. If we glance into the future, beyond the Gen Z age group, Generation Alpha and subsequent cohorts will likely prove to be even more digitally savvy. Thus, the cycle of retail reinvention will likely have to start anew in another 20 years or so.

The key to success for brands confronted by this continual sequence of progressiveness is to be agile and nimble enough to introduce different digital and in-store commerce options and also have the capabilities to support these with the native omnichannel capabilities needed to deliver against the demanding expectations of these new generational groups. Gen Z is the emerging cultural and economic powerhouse in today’s retail landscape, and the group will continue to drive cultural change and retail spending habits on so many levels over the next two decades.

While the full force of their dollars may not have hit retailers just yet, the race to meet the future expectations of Gen Z consumers is very much underway. The success of brands over the next two decades will not only be established by understanding what, how and from who Zoomers are likely to buy but also on a retailer’s abilities to execute frictionless omnichannel experiences.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Marmalade
Exclusive: Marmalade empowers businesses to take control of their cash flow
Marmalade has been making waves in the invoicing space across Australia with its world-first invoice payments platform.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Common challenges in the evolving digital world, and how to overcome them
Five technology challenges that will help highlight potential pain points and suggest how to circumvent or overcome them on the path to a smooth digital transformation.
Story image
Ransomware
Big business in cryptocurrencies and cybercrime
As of June this year, about a quarter (26%) of Australians considered cryptocurrency as a good investment, and over 36% have at one point considered buying cryptocurrency as an investment.
Story image
eCommerce
Online shoppers leaving cart because of high shipping costs - report
New research commissioned by HUBBED reveals 90% of online shoppers abandoned a cart due to high shipping costs, and 64% say the lack of security was a purchase deterrent.
Story image
Economics
9 in 10 retailers prepared for economic challenges this year
Some 9 in 10 retailers (86%) are prepared for continued inflation, higher interest rates and potentially lower consumer spending, according to new research.
Story image
Cheetah Digital
Privacy, data ethics and the ‘seismic shift’ in consumer trust
Aussie consumers have low levels of trust for advertising, but will pay more to purchase from a trusted brand, a new report from Cheetah Digital reveals.
Story image
Data
Consumers will stop doing business over data practices
“Data privacy remains a concern for consumers when it comes to sharing their information with an online retailer with an unclear view of privacy laws."
Story image
Remote Working
Sana Commerce builds online ordering portal for Food & Dairy Co
B2B eCommerce platform Sana Commerce says Sydney wholesaler Food & Dairy Co has gone live with its ERP integrated ordering portal.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: Jabra Engage 55 wireless headset
We get our hands on a German design professional headset that many knowledge workers could benefit from.
Story image
Cloud
Sitecore caters to modern marketing teams with CMS cloud launch
"Sitecore's move towards a composable SaaS offering for creating and delivering digital experiences is in line with what marketing teams are looking for.”
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Cyara rolls out comprehensive, automated chatbot feature
Cyara has unveiled new chatbot testing features with the latest release of Cyara Botium, creating a solution for comprehensive, automated chatbot testing and assurance.
Story image
Recession
1 in 3 SMEs say they wont survive 6 months into a recession
34% of Aussie SMEs would not survive more than 6 months of economic downturn, with 14% unable to survive a recession at all.  
Story image
Google Cloud
Google Cloud achieves certified strategic status in Australia
Google Cloud says it has reached certified strategic status for cloud services under the Australian Government's Hosting Certification Framework.
Story image
Manufacturing
How manufacturers can respond to rapid change with technology
Disruption, innovation, and continual refinement of shop floor processes are driving factors in today’s complex market landscape. 
Story image
ShopBack
Forter and ShopBack enhance partnership to further prevent fraud
Forter and ShopBack have enhanced their partnership with the addition of better eCommerce security solutions for customers.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Oracle unveils AI-powered application to automate sales
Oracle has unveiled the next generation of Fusion Sales, an application that automates sales and identifies the opportunities worth pursuing.
Story image
Phishing
Akamai research finds PayPal security measures utilised in new phishing scam
New research from Akamai has found that a new threat actor is parasitising benign WordPress sites to execute an extensive PayPal phishing scam.
Story image
Printers
Comedy legend Jimeoin fronts Epson advertising campaign in NZ and Australia
According to Epson the company’s EcoTank models now account for 74% of all printers sold in the category in New Zealand, alone.
Story image
Apps
Freshworks integrates with Google's Business Messages
"The integration with Freshworks makes it fast and easy for businesses to have conversations with their customers within the Google apps."
Story image
SaaS
OpenText launches new solutions on Salesforce AppExchange
Included in this latest launch is OpenText Core Content, a Content Services platform that customers can leverage to effectively manage their content.
Story image
Cybersecurity
eCommerce fraud increasing pressure on businesses margins
It is vital for businesses to maximise the value of every dollar by turning away as many fraudulent actors as possible without blocking good customers."
Story image
Microsoft
Infobip’s SMS and WhatsApp services are now available through Microsoft
Infobip has integrated its WhatsApp and SMS channels through Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing.
Story image
eCommerce
Marketplacer and Intelligent Reach to help retailers sell online
Intelligent Reach can now support Marketplacer marketplaces that want to sell their products through other places, such as Google and Facebook, eBay and Amazon.
Story image
Payroll
Fintech software allows employees to access wages before payday
Paytime is a tech platform that plugs into payroll software allowing employees to access a portion of their earned pay before payday.
Wiise
Discover why a localised cloud ERP is the way to go for Australian businesses.
Link image
Story image
eCommerce
Live Payments to use Visa’s Tap to Phone tech for merchants
Live Payments has announced a new partnership with Visa to help small businesses and taxi operators accept digital payments securely and conveniently using Visa technology.
Story image
Fintech
SC Ventures launches fintech startup for retail banking
SC Ventures has launched Appro, a fintech startup, to simplify the retail banking user journey, aiming to foster greater efficiency in application processes for retail banking products.
Story image
Employment
Australia's technology jobs boom continues - report
Australian tech job numbers continue to grow, with over 1.2 million people expected to be working in the sector by 2027.
Story image
Accounting
Eightcap to use BlackLine system to support financial close
Global CFD Eightcap is using BlackLine's recently launched Modern Accounting Playbook (MAP) to support financial close.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Workday completes IRAP and gains FedRAMP authorisation
Workday has completed the Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) assessment at the Protected level, allowing its customers to process data in compliance with IRAP guidelines.
Story image
Social Media
ActiveCampaign reveals consumers seek trusthworthy content
Consumers will engage with new brands across all channels, including online, in-store and social media, as long as the content is relevant and trustworthy.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Why the right ERP (and partner) is crucial to an innovative and successful business
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a foundational step to ensuring a robust business model; here's why choosing the right one could be vital to ensuring long-term success and innovative results.
Story image
CRM
Forrester names Pega a Leader in CRM Solutions 2022 report
Forrester Research has named Pega a Leader among 11 competitors in The Forrester Wave: Core CRM Solutions, Q3 2022 report.
Story image
KICKS CREW
KICKS CREW selects Forter to help scale global eCommerce operations
KICKS CREW has selected Forter to help scale its global digital commerce operations.
Story image
Customer experience
BillingPlatform introduces new enhancements to revenue management services
Some of the new developments include hosted payment pages, and new and updated connectors to Salesforce, NetSuite, OneSource, Avalara and other enterprise systems.
Story image
Small Business / SMB
Business Australia unveils new identity after rebranding
Business Australia has rebranded to My Business with a new logo, brand positioning campaign and visual identity culminating in an online platform.
Story image
Ebay
FedEx and eBay team up to boost APAC eCommerce options
FedEx Express' new alliance with eBay enables eBay sellers in APAC to sign up for a FedEx account and access the full spectrum of FedEx e-commerce delivery service options at competitive rates.
Story image
Forrester
SAS is a leader in anti-money laundering - Forrester
The latest Forrester report revealed that SAS received the highest score in the anti-money laundering category of 15 vendors.
Story image
Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners
Quinbrook launches $2.5 billion ‘Supernode’ 800MW data storage project
Quinbrook says the new Supernode will be one of the largest permit-approved data storage campus projects in the Southern Hemisphere.
Story image
Customer
Airwallex launches an online payments app on Shopify
Airwallex has launched an online payments app on Shopify, allowing merchants to integrate a gateway plugin on their online store to accept payments from their global customers.
Story image
Cryptocurrency
Koinly, Cointree announce crypto tax partnership
"As the cryptocurrency space continues to rapidly grow in Australia, this partnership cements their commitment to crypto investors financial literacy."
Story image
Digital Journey
NICE unveils new CXone capabilities with latest release
NICE has announced the Summer 2022 release of CXone, which adds new capabilities that enhance journey orchestration and complete performance.