Retail in Asia


Tapping into the minds of Gen Z and Millennial shoppers in Asia Pacific

It has become top of mind for brands in our region to engage with the next generation of shoppers as they seek to build a brand for the future, and rightfully so. Asia is currently home to a quarter of the global population of millennials and by 2025, Gen Z will account for a quarter of the Asia-Pacific’s population.

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From Lifebuoy’s Asia-wide TikTok campaign targeted at Gen Z and Millennials, to adidas Australia’s development of a special studio for Gen Z artists and designers to experiment creatively with their products, brands in Asia are stepping up their engagement with the younger generation. More than the next big campaign, marketers and retailers seek to develop enduring engagement and brand resonance. The question remains – how do we achieve that?

Source : TikTok
Think Gen Z and Millennials only shop online? Think again.

Most would assume that Gen Z and Millennial consumers only shop online, but Criteo’s research has revealed otherwise: Shoppers across all generations are increasingly taking a hybrid path to purchase. In fact, Gen Z and Millennials exhibit the highest level of omnichannel shopping behavior.

While it is no surprise that most Gen Z and Millennials are likely to purchase products on an app (88 percent), this does not mean that they do not care about physical shopping experiences. In fact, Gen Z and Millennials are also the most likely to browse products online but purchase products in a retail store (81 percent). In-store experiences are still important to Gen Z and Millennials, as these experiences play a big role in completing their purchase journey.

Source : CardMapr

There are regional differences in Gen Z and Millennials’ omnichannel shopper habits too. For example, 80 percent shoppers in Singapore are most likely to make purchases online after seeing the product at a retail store, as compared to 60 percent shoppers doing the same in Australia.

It is thus important for marketers to not neglect physical stores given its influence on Gen Z and Millennials’ purchasing decisions. Having a strong omnichannel approach will appeal to this audience and keep your brand differentiated amid stiff competition in today’s landscape.

Differentiated shopping experience – a key to Gen Z and Millennial’s heart

Be it offline or online, personalised customer experiences are still important for all shoppers – but especially for Gen Z and Millennials. Among these two groups, Millennials have a higher expectation for customer experience and would even pay more for it.

This preference is apparent in this group’s discovery behavior as well, with three in four Gen Z and Millennial shoppers reporting that they click on ads while using the internet. Three in five also buy products that are recommended to them in ads.

Not many brands can recognise this preference and quickly pivot their approach to appeal to this highly expressive group, but a perfect example would be tech accessory maker, CASETiFY. Recognising the increased demand for personalized and customized products by its younger audience, the Hong Kong based firm quickly carved out a differentiated position for themselves in the tech accessories industry by allowing consumers to create customized phone cases on their website. Coupled with some social media campaigns to reach their target audience, it took them little to no time before they became the 3rd largest tech accessories brand in the world – effectively winning the hearts of Gen Z and Millennials across the globe.

Source : CASETiFY

While not all firms can allow consumers to customize their products, they can still learn from such successful stories in making shopper experiences more personalized. One way that businesses can start doing this would be to leverage first party data to create more relevant and useful ads for their Gen Z and Millennial audience. By enhancing a first party database with commerce data, they would be able to drive commerce outcomes and create awareness, consideration, and conversion campaigns.

Nasty or Nice – consumers tell-all in their reviews

With the rise of social media, every consumer can now be a brand critic. The region’s consumers remain heavily reliant on reviews to guide their own purchasing decisions – more so than other factors like loyalty rewards.

Gen Z and Millennial shoppers are most dependent on ratings and reviews to make informed purchase decisions, regardless of channel. Globally, almost every Millennial shopper (99.9 percent) reads reviews when shopping online and 63 percent do so even when shopping in-store. Gen Zs are similar – 86 percent of Gen Zs check online reviews before making a purchase for the first time. As a matter of fact, 68 percent of Gen Z read at least three reviews before they purchase.

For brands who omit reviews to avoid a potential backlash? This is not the best move. Nearly half (48 percent) of this audience indicate that they won’t purchase a product if there are no reviews for it, compared to 42 percent of Gen X shoppers and 39 percent of Boomers.

Closer to home, more than half of the region’s shoppers also left a positive online review (61 percent) in view of a pleasant customer experience in the last six months. To a lesser extent, 36 percent left a negative online review in the last six months as well.

To create a pleasant shopping experience, make sure your site is mobile-friendly and has a clean, responsive and simple navigation. In addition, understand what consumers appreciate beyond free shipping and discounts. Some other important factors that APAC shoppers value include being able to browse a good range of products on the brand’s website or app (88 percent), having the option to purchase online and pick up their items in store (84 percent), and having flexible payment options (82 percent).

Source : dole777
Building a brand for the future

Engaging Gen Z and Millennial consumers would take more than reaching them on the right social channels. It is key that marketers start to understand their unique consumer preferences and motivations as well.

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By staying focused on the key elements that this audience cares about, from having a strong omnichannel strategy to creating differentiated and personalized shopping experiences, marketers and retailers will be on the right path to building a that continues to resonate with today’s young audience, and ensure that this continues across the customer lifecycle.

Author : Kenneth Pao, Executive Managing Director, Asia Pacific at Criteo

*Disclaimer: The views and opinion expressed in the article belong solely to the original author and do not represent the views, opinions and position of Retail in Asia.