Report: GenZ are increasingly seeking ‘clicks to bricks’ and trading privacy for personalisation

​Generation Z continue to change the landscape of brands and buying online by trading their data for personalised experiences, according to a new global market research report

Generation Z continue to change the landscape of brands and buying online, according to a new report.

An international study conducted by The Center for Generational Kinetics and commissioned by WP Engine reveals Generation Z, born between 1996-2010, are willing to trade privacy for personalised experiences, prefer business to have both an online and physical presence, and that brands be socially accountable.

In fact, 63 per cent of Gen Z are more likely to support a brand that supports a social cause, a statistic that highlights the growing demand for brands to demonstrate purpose. However, Gen Z also demand brands be authentic in this by not only talking the talk but walking the walk. Twenty-seven per cent have stopped buying from a company that contributes to a social cause they disagree with.

The report also found that because Gen Z has grown up in the hyper-personalised world of targeted advertisements and social platforms, they are willing to trade privacy for personalised experiences. Forty-five per cent will provide their personal data to enable a more personalised experience, for example, over an anonymous one.

Additionally, 44 per cent of Gen Z would stop visiting a website if it didn’t anticipate what they needed, liked or wanted.

Gen Z was also found to trust online businesses as much as physical ones, and prefers businesses to have an online presence and a physical storefront, or ‘clicks-to-bricks’. They also still show a clear preference for a company’s website over a mobile app when making purchases.

“Gen Z is well on its way to becoming the largest generation of consumers by the year 2020,” said WP Engine A/NZ country manager, Mark Randall. “This will have profound implications for marketers and brands who, to effectively engage Gen Z, must embrace new technologies, experiment with new forms of communication, and internalise the nuances in how Gen Z seamlessly blends the analogue and digital worlds.”

Gen Z also demands authenticity when considering the brands they use and buy, with 75 per cent of Gen Z trusting a company more if the images they use are not photoshopped and 85 per cent trusting a company more if they use actual customers in their ads.

Another key report finding showed content is vital. For example, one-quarter of respondents prefer to be entertained by a company’s online content, and 83 per cent are more likely to purchase from a company that provides consistent and relevant content such as videos, blogs, social media posts or a magazine.

“Gen Z is empowered, connected, practical, empathetic self-starters who want to stand out and make a difference in the world,” The Center for Generational Kinetics president, Jason Dorsey, said. “They merge the human and digital experiences - it is all one combined reality for them. They are fuelled by technology engagement and value uniqueness, authenticity, creativity, shareability and purpose. And they look for that from the world around them.”

The survey was designed collaboratively by WP Engine and The Center for Generational Kinetics and administered to 1007 respondents in Australia, ages 14-59, who currently use a smartphone on a regular basis. The survey was conducted online in 2018.

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