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Gen Z has distinct expectations of brands

News, 15 May 2017
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NEW YORK: Digital experiences are important for both Gen Z and Gen Y, but the younger generation has particular expectations of brands with regard to customer service and how they like to interact with new technology, a new survey has found.

Brand loyalty for Gen Z consumers, for example, is closely tied to seamless customer experiences and they are more likely than their older counterparts to ditch a brand because of a slow response during online chat for sales or customer service issues.

Gen Z is also more likely to become disloyal to a brand if the brand has poor features or responsiveness on social media, or has poorly designed mobile features.

Specifically, the survey found that Gen Z respondents are twice as likely to stop using a brand's product or service because of slow responsiveness on social media than Gen Y (21% versus 9%).

These are some of the headline findings from a survey of 1,027 North American young consumers from Gen Z (16- to 22-year-olds) and Gen Y (23- to 37-year-olds) conducted by American Express, the financial transactions firm, in partnership with Forrester Consulting.

The joint survey also revealed that, when it comes to interacting with brands regarding offers and sales notifications, Gen Z is 22% more likely than Gen Y to prefer in-app notifications.

A similar proportion (23%) is more likely than Gen Y to prefer to interact with brands on social media regarding such incentives, while they are twice as likely to prefer interacting via WhatsApp and other chat technology.

It also appears that Gen Z consumers are less comfortable talking directly over the phone with brand representatives, preferring instead to use text/SMS messaging, talking over the phone to an automated system, or searching online themselves.

And with its interest in new payment solutions, American Express also asked respondents about how they manage their finances.

Accordingly, it reported that 43% of Gen Z had used a card-branded checkout solution – such as its own Amex Express Checkout – in the past three months, compared to just 29% of Gen Y.

A third (33%) of Gen Z had also used a mobile wallet over the same period, such as Apple Pay, compared to around a fifth (22%) of Gen Y.

"Our research shows that Gen Z is two steps ahead when it comes to interest in payments solutions and technology, and their expectations of brands," observed Luke Gebb, SVP, Enterprise Digital at American Express.

Data sourced from American Express; additional content by WARC staff

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