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Serving the customers of today. And tomorrow

Alexa Wilcox, Head of Marketing at Poq, considers what the rise of GenZ means for retailers

Today’s consumer expects to seamlessly engage with brands across multiple channels as standard. Retailers at the top of their game are adapting to these expectations by making the shopping experience more fluid and convenient across multiple channels.

Mobile clearly plays a key role in this fluidity as a portable and always-connected device. A consumer’s mobile phone is the one item they’re unlikely to leave the house without, and this is increasingly influencing shopping behaviour. Some signs of this include payment methods moving away from paper and plastic and onto shopper’s devices, and the use of smartphones in-store to look up product information or to compare prices.

This computer in our pocket is a powerful device and a highly personalised route to customers, which leading retailers are incorporating more and more deeply into their overarching strategies. Those leading the way in this space are successfully incorporating mobile into the omnichannel experience, often by way of transactional apps with enhanced functionality such as store checkers, barcode scanners and loyalty programmes.

The rise of mobile also coincides with younger, more technologically savvy shoppers entering the market. Mobile has become an almost essential part of shopping for millennials, with 82% of smartphone users saying they consult their phones on purchases they’re about to make in a store, and 58% of smartphone users report having used a shopping app in the last 30 days.

The shifting retail landscape doesn’t stop at millennials, however. There is a new generation of shoppers hitting the market, and they are set to change things even more drastically. They are GenZ – those born after 2000. They’re currently in their early to mid teens, and are starting to impact shopping trends. As such, GenZ are set to drastically influence the retail industry in the next few decades.

Teens today are constantly exposed to advertising and branded content, and they recognise this – clever adverts and reaching them where they are isn’t enough anymore. Instead, they expect companies to appeal to their interests with relevant, preferably personalised, experiences. Apps are the perfect platform for creating GenZ-friendly mobile experiences. They allow for a large degree of personalisation to the user, from collections of items based on favourites to promotions based on past purchases and can be used as an engagement channel as well as a commercial channel. Apps also function across multiple devices and evolve with new technology such as wearables, voice assistants and AI tools.

With GenZ expected to make up 40% of consumer markets by 2020, it will only become more crucial to weave this knowledge of the shoppers of the future into your omnichannel strategy today. The future omnichannel landscape most definitely features mobile, and we at Poq believe, this will be driven by apps.

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