I’m a mom of three Generation Z children. They frustrate me on a daily basis, but they often surprise and delight me, too. Their mobile phones are attached to their hands at all times, except when I call or text them. Sometimes, I have to resort to Snapchat just so I can get them to answer me.
Gen Z wants what they want, when they want it. They are all about instant gratification and their own agendas. They are also taking the world by force. As of 2019, Gen Z outnumbered Millennials, making up 32% of the world’s 7.7 billion-person population. In 2020, Gen Z makes up more than 40% of US consumers. Generation Z is growing up, and that means they have buying power and are influencing change around them.
Generation Z loves social media, cares about their finances, and are particular about the products they research and purchase. At the root of all of Generation Z’s behavior is the search for the truth. They want to express themselves, connect with others, have more dialogues, and live life pragmatically.
Mobile natives – born into the digital era
Generation Z are known as digital natives — they grew up with little or no memory of a time when smartphones didn’t exist. Unlike other generations, they were born into a world of technology and innovation. They’ve grown up with social media, mobile apps, and instant accessibility of information.
So, what does Generation Z want from their mobile app experiences?
Fast digital speeds are key
With Gen Z, attention spans are shorter than ever before. Millennials have an attention span of 12 seconds, while Generation Z has an even shorter span of about eight seconds. This generation wants everything, and they want it now. Instant gratification is a major trait of this generation. That means mobile apps must be fast. Gen Z wants apps that function smoothly, load information quickly, and provide fast content sharing.
Use subscription services via apps
Gen Z are more financially independent than their Millennial predecessors, who came of age during a global recession. This generation has spending power. Gen Z is already spending $44 billion annually. What do they spend their money on? Gen Z is more interested in services than paying for one-off items. For instance, they use subscriptions like Netflix, Uber, and Spotify.
Control of their digital footprint
Early generations are less concerned about how they appear online. Gen Zers are more aware and concerned about their online personas. They want control of their digital footprint and their personal brand. They are concerned about their privacy and security, since they are more likely to make online payments through credit and debit cards.
A personalized digital experience
This generation wants to have a personalized experience with social media and mobile apps. Gen Z treats personalization as a benefit or something that adds value to a mobile app. That means an app needs to have features, such as saving log-in information and geolocation information, are a must.
Opportunities to be creative
About 51% of Gen Zers think they are more creative than other generations. Many of this generation spend free time online doing some type of creative activity. For instance, creating memes, making TikTok videos, and editing photos for social media. Gen Z thinks of themselves as generalists — they might be good at several creative activities, such as playing music, drawing, and writing. If you want Gen Z to use your app, make sure you include creative tools in your mobile platform.
Speak their language
Gen Z is used to texting, Snapchatting, and receiving push notifications. With a mobile app, it’s easy to communicate with Gen Z by sending instant, non-intrusive push notifications to app users. That’s because push notifications are instantaneous, personalizable, and they disappear once they are read. Gen Z prefers this types of quick communications.
For mobile, it’s important to get your users’ attention quickly. Gen Zers want quick app speeds, good security and privacy, a personalized experience, and opportunities to be creative. Gen Z will define this decade: And they have the buying power and the fortitude to make positive change happen.
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