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Who is the customer of the 2020s? – Defining Generation Z

In our latest blog series, Consumer of the Next Decade, this first blog of four explores the customer of the 2020s.

Whilst millennial’s have been fast moving up the career ladder and becoming a very familiar face in your customer demographic, the consumers of the next decade are demanding your attention now.

Generation Z, born from around the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, are, for many of us, our children, the apprentice technicians in the workshop or the young digital geniuses in the marketing department. We mustn’t make the mistake of thinking they’re simply younger millennial’s. The internet and tech grew up alongside millennial’s – while Generation Z have never known anything different.

An age of prosperity

Having been born into an age of prosperity, millennial’s are seen as the ‘me’ generation compared to Gen Z, who believe in truth and transparency. With so much information at their fingertips, they take a more pragmatic approach when deciding on the companies with which they want to engage.

Importantly, they love technology, more so than other generations despite its dominance, and are not afraid of it. They embrace anything new, rather than hanging onto the old out of familiarity. Most of all, these future customers are very attached to their phones – using their smartphones to interact with companies online, again, in a way that’s beyond the smartphone attachment of most of us, despite being members of older generations. Likewise, Gen Z are happy flowing between different channels as well as combining on and off-line.

Consumers want to be able to do what they need

As Think with Google tells us, these consumers want to be able to do what they need, whenever and wherever they happen to be, at any particular moment in time. They undertake their research whilst on the commute and expect to organise their vehicle’s routine service whilst at work without having to make a call. For this generation, smartphone, convenience and immediacy go hand in hand.

A mobile-first strategy is critical if dealers are to continue reaching customers with the information they want, when they want it. Hence the importance of utilising a platform with smartphone access being a focal point of its strategy, such as CitNOW’s. In its latest research, Evolution of the Car Buyer, CitNOW found 75% of 18-24-year-olds reach for their hand-held device when researching their next vehicle. Quick uploads of digital assets – including images, video and 360-views, help ensure the in-demand content is available in an instant. These are sure fire ways to aid in fulfilling Gen Z’s needs of immediacy and transparency, largely via their smartphones.

Read more about the Evolution of the Car Buyer here.