BY ONOME AMUGE
Gen Z or Zoomers, the group of people born between the late 1990s and 2000s, are referred to as the world’s youngest and most digitally-adept consumers. Members of this age group, according to a Bloomberg report, currently represent the largest population group on earth, accounting for about 2.5 billion people of the seven billion world population.
Thunes, a global business-to-business (B2B) payments platform, in its recent survey of Zoomers, out of which 6,500 people between the ages of 16 and 24 from 13 developed and emerging countries around the world were interviewed via Pollfish, a survey platform, finds that the spotlighted generation are forcing change to decades-old business practices.
The research further recommended that businesses across the world must start to understand the living, shopping, and financial habits of Gen Z or Zoomers now and accept that they are very different from previous generations, to achieve growth and success past 2030.
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Thunes, in its world-wide study into the future of spending, noted that this demographic representation has a staunch preference for digital consumption/ payments which has gradually transcended from a habit to a lifestyle.
The Future of Spending survey highlighted basic digital payment services adopted by the group to include:
Social Media consumption: The survey found that Gen Z is influenced by social media more than any other generation. Eight out of 10 interviewees said they use social media on multiple occasions throughout the day. Three-quarters of Zoomers in emerging markets confessed to checking in multiple times each day, with two-thirds stating that they have purchased products they first discovered online.
It was further discovered that Gen Z not only spend their money on social media, but are increasingly earning money there too, with a growing range of content monetisation options offered by TikTok, YouTube, Patreon, Clubhouse, and Twitch.
Mobile wallets and money management: Gen Z, according to the research, has little enthusiasm for traditional financial products, be it bank accounts or credit cards. Thunes found that mobile wallets are growing rapidly and in some emerging markets, almost 50 percent of Zoomers now use this type of account, while 62 percent of Gen Z’s don’t have any bank account at all due to their heavy dependence on mobile wallets.
Shopping habits: In all of the surveyed developed and emerging markets, it was found that Zoomers are a generation of shoppers, with shopping accounting for the single biggest share of their spending. The research further noted that they spend a slightly larger proportion (19 percent) of their money online shopping than they do on socialising, eating out, entertainment, and similar events.
Decline in physical cash: The Thunes report noted that about a quarter of Zoomers in western markets almost never use cash. In emerging markets, physical currency was found to be relevant in offline spending albeit at a decline. This factor was attributed to the growing accessibility of digital tools promoting cashless transactions.
Focus on Brand and user experience (UX): Brand trust was considered one of the most important drivers for Zoomers consumption loyalty due to its influence on purchase and payment methods. It was regarded as the number one factor for choosing a primary payment method in seven of the 13 western and emerging countries. User experience was identified as the second most popular factor that affects Zoomers’ consumption loyalty in the digital world.
Commenting on the survey, Peter De Caluwe, the chief executive officer of Thunes said: “To many, Gen Z is a misunderstood and overlooked generation. This is a generation to which “dial-up” and “desktop” are meaningless words and who don’t just think “mobile-first”, but live and breathe in apps, social media, digital platforms and soon – the metaverse.
Caluwe called for a more serious outlook of this generation, noting that the revenues and strategic plans of many businesses – especially those that are relying on fast growth – are dependent on them. He added that failure to recognise the imminent influence of the digitally native Zoomer could result in a once perfectly shoppable brand witnessing slipping sales.
The Thunes CEO said the insights from the survey would be utilised to shape the company’s payment capabilities and solutions for the large group of the internet businesses it serves, while embracing its diversity of payments in building the next-generation payments infrastructure for the world.