The majority (66%) of Generation Alpha – those aged 6-16 – prefer to buy from ethically conscious brands that do good in the world, according to research.
The report from Wunderman Thompson Commerce, which investigates the shopping habits of the US and UK’s youngest consumers, found that 18% of all children would prefer to buy products that are sustainable and not plastic; 13-16-year olds are the biggest proponents of sustainable retail, with a quarter (24%) shunning plastic.
However, while children are conscious about what their products are made of, they are even more impatient than adults when it comes to expectations around delivery: Generation Alpha are prepared to wait 2.23 days on average for a delivery, while adults are prepared to wait three days (2.95). The youngest consumers (6-9-year olds) are far less tolerant, only willing to give retailers, brands and marketplaces 1.91 days on average to deliver goods. A further one in five children say they will never buy from somewhere that cannot deliver the next day.
Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Consultancy and Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce explains: “Tomorrow’s generation of shoppers want it all: a future of sustainable products, delivered even more quickly, exceeding expectations of previous generations. As environmental activism becomes increasingly mainstream across the news and social media, awareness of the issue has skyrocketed. At the same time, however, so too have the needs of a generation increasingly accustomed to immediacy and products “on demand”.
“For retailers and brands, this poses a huge conundrum. As logistical and supply costs are likely to go up with the increasing demands of customers, it’s no longer enough to consider one or the other. As children ‘mature’ into consumers with real purchasing power, retailers and brands need to be thinking about both – and plan well enough in advance for a future they probably haven’t yet considered.”
Furthermore, the trend towards sustainability doesn’t apply to retail solely, but younger consumers’ career aspirations as well. 63% say they would like to work somewhere that helps save the planet. Mini-Alphas (6-9-year olds) feel strongest about environmental careers, with 67% wanting to work somewhere that helps save the planet.