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Are retailers prepared for Generation Alpha?

Wunderman Thompson Commerce has released a report titled ‘Generation Alpha: Preparing for the future consumer’. The report reveals findings on the impact of streaming, social media and screens on the age group between 6-16 and suggests ways in which marketers can connect with this future consumer.

The report suggests that most retailers are struggling to launch initiatives to keep pace with the demands of this generation and it is e-tail innovators like Amazon who are leading the way with one day delivery, lightning fast payments, value adding loyalty schemes and content creation.

Generation Alpha is characterized by strong values, who prioritize family, friends and happiness as their topmost values. Despite their increasingly digitized surrounding, this generation continues to enjoy engaging with the outdoors (47%) and are excited about earning their own income and making purchasing decisions.

However, when it comes to what influences their purchasing decision, half of the respondents say they would want to wear, consume or use something endorsed by their favourite YouTube or Instagram Star. Influencers have also pushed Family to third place when it comes to impacting their buying habits. Online video is the most effective format to influence children. 

“The Alpha Generation is overloaded with messages from brands. Choosing the right channels — including relevant trusted advisors like online influencers — will be critical if you want to cut through all the noise to reach the next generation of shoppers” says, Chloe Cox, Consultant at Wunderman Thompson Commerce.

Most of Generation Alpha is aware of brands are begin to form a relationship to them at a young age. Children were aware of tech brands like Amazon and Google nearly as much as they were aware of brands like Coca Cola which would have been unimaginable two generations ago.

The report indicates that despite the future ready attitude of Generation Alpha, approaching them from a pureplay digital strategy is not going to work. Many respondents prefer to shop at physical stores despite the ease of access and convenience offered by e-tailers.

“It’s interesting that the majority of children want to see online channels work alongside physical stores — and indeed better alignment between the two. These findings underline the need for retailers to take a truly omnichannel approach to engaging with the next generation of shoppers, and be ready to use new technologies not simply to replace the physical store but to complement it” said, Naji El-Arifi, Head of Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce.

Download the Report

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