Generation Z and Your Online Business

Generation Z and Your Online Business

Often described as the younger siblings of the tech-savvy millennial generation, this is the first generation to grow entirely digitally. Generation Z kids have never known what it’s like to live in a world without the internet or without social media. Even the younger side of this market segment, these kids under the age of ten, are comfortable with technology; They’ve probably been playing video games and using smartphones since preschool.
The older part of Gen Z has a few specific traits that you’ll want to keep in mind when trying to market it, especially online. Adolescents and young adults of Generation Z tend to share the following traits:
1. They are adept at communicating through social media, but prefer platforms like Snapchat and Whisper – and stay away from Facebook.
2. They are protected by privacy online, having seen the older generations divulge a lot online.
3. They are businessmen. This generation prefers owning a company as opposed to working for one, but remains practical when it comes to making a living.
4. They are generally risk averse and cautious.
After learning all these traits, you might be curious to know what kind of minion the older generation Z would make. In fact, they are likely to be loyal and repeat customers. The caveat is that you should treat them fairly, offer a solid product (or service) at a reasonable price, and respect their privacy when marketing to them online. But who is a customer that you wouldn’t treat the same way? When focusing on the smaller side of Generation Z, privacy is also a major concern. To understand the privacy regulations when marketing to this group, let’s look at the way young children are divided into three distinct groups, based on age:
1. Children: Although children 7 years of age or younger do not always have enough independence to shop on their own, they are influential in their parents’ final purchasing decisions. Parents want to please their offspring and usually give them what they want. Keep in mind that marketers only view kids 5 and up as part of Generation Z, so this group is a very small slice, but it’s still important!

2. Teenagers: Children between the ages of 8 and 12 are a target market for themselves. These children have bypassed the “kids” elements and begun to emulate the trends made popular by their older counterparts (teenagers).
3. Teenagers: Between the ages of 13 and 17 (some marketers go as long as 18), this group is usually more mature. Shopping savvy teens usually have greater decision-making abilities with less adult participation. And many teens have huge sums of money to throw away, from working part-time or from receiving an allowance from their parents (or both).
All three age groups are proficient in the use of computers. Teens and teens are especially comfortable browsing the internet and embracing technology for multiple purposes – including shopping online, downloading apps and music, and playing online games. According to a 2014 Stock With Teens Report from Piper Jaffray Cos, 80 percent of teens (aged 12-17, with an average age of 16) shop online. That number splits into 78 percent of girls and 82 percent of boys with online shopping habits. Fast forward to the 2014 report, and we take a closer look at general online habits. Generation Z teens:
1. Shop in specialty stores and boutiques from major retailers and department stores
2. Watch more Netflix and YouTube versus traditional cable and TV
3. Plan to buy more next-generation gaming consoles than in previous years
4. Small independent brands are preferred over big brands, especially with cosmetics
5. Stream music more than listen to radio broadcasts
Other interesting points from this niche group of online spenders are the uses of mobile devices and digital streaming. Nearly 55 percent of teens own an Apple iPhone, and 56 percent own a tablet. Mobile devices are an important part of teens’ lives, and they use smartphones and tablets for everything from online research to online shopping. And nearly half of the teens are equally excited about downloading or streaming movies from the Internet.
Similar trends were identified by the Pew Internet and American Life Project study, including these facts:
More than half of teens who use the Internet do so every day.
When it comes to social networking, 73 percent of teens actively use social media sites and prefer Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.
Not everything is fun and games. Nearly 62 percent of teens look to the Internet for news, current events, and political information.
Pew Internet has a lot of good research to help you better understand the online market for children and teens. You can access more facts about Gen Z teens and internet use for free on their website.