By the end of this year, Gen Z is expected to comprise almost one third of the world’s population, and in Indonesia, the number of active Gen Z users on mobile is rising 25% faster than older active users (aged 25+), according to App Annie.

A new report from the mobile market data and analytics firm noted that, as fairly new consumers, the brand preferences of Gen Z are not yet set and stated that it’s imperative that brands start to adapt their strategy to this growing generation, or risk being left behind.

“Brands must act now and prepare their mobile journey to foster brand loyalty and maximise customer lifetime value,” said Cindy Deng, managing director of App Annie, Asia Pacific.

Two verticals were identified as “greenfield opportunities” for brands: finance and shopping. As no global app has become the “go-to” for Gen Z users yet, there are still opportunities for brands to occupy this space.

When it comes to shopping, mobile-fuelled sales events such as seasonal campaigns held during Ramadan or 11.11 are immensely successful in forging new shopping habits in Indonesia.

Unsurprisingly, the top app for shopping among Gen Z users in the country was Shopee 11.11 Big Sale. Akulaku, the e-commerce platform that offers online services without the need for credit card, followed closely behind while Lazada ranked third.

As Gen Z enters the workforce and begins banking with increased frequency, banking and finance apps must offer a frictionless mobile experience to acquire this growing consumer base.

Among finance apps, local player, DANA takes the top spot in Indonesia through its all-in-one digital wallet offering that allows users to make cashless and cardless payments for everyday needs such as offline purchases, mobile top ups, and bill payments.

Key insights into Indonesia’s Gen Z mobile user

  • Love for gaming and entertainment drives mobile habits

With 7.6 hours spent on gaming per month, Indonesia’s Gen Z users rank third highest after Japan (14.76 hours per month) and South Korea (7.81 hours per month) worldwide. However, young Indonesians also spent less time and had fewer sessions in games than their millennial peers, with average sessions recorded at 52, compared with 123 sessions for Japan – the highest.

Borrowing the love for entertainment from their millennial peers – the early adopters of social media – Indonesia’s Gen Z have taken it a step beyond by adding in love for gaming with messaging and creating a new form of social communication which builds communities.

Social gaming app HAGO (short for Have A Good One) is now the No 1 app in the country with the largest absolute growth in downloads or consumer spend between 2018 and 2019.

HAGO users can build real-time online communities around gaming, hear music, voice chat, share emojis and text message one another. In addition, it connects the user with a stranger on the internet to meet new gamers, play with them and create larger social networks with deeper levels of engagement. The app also has a built-in voice chat function – a primary method of communication for Gen Z, which will likely move away from typing to adopt voice-first methods for their communication.

  • Entertaining content that is unobtrusive and builds communities is key to engagement

Staying in touch with friends was only the third most important reason Gen Z used social media. In contrast, filling up spare time and finding entertaining content were quoted as first and second, respectively.

Merely being present on social is no longer enough. If brands want to engage Gen Z on social, the content needs to be entertaining and unobtrusive.

Unsurprisingly, when it comes to digital entertainment, Steam’s video library of games, movies and entertainment content ranked high among Indonesia’s Gen Z users. Incidentally, it also ranked second in the entertainment app category for four other markets: US, Australia, Brazil and Canada.

Video games and streaming were popularised by this demographic and Steam builds the community aspect of gaming while facilitating interaction and engagement with creators.

Indonesian Gen Z users also showed a liking for films and entertainment content through Viu, the Korean drama and variety show, with iflix, Netflix and HOOQ also ranking high.

  • Social aspect of gaming integral to Gen Z engagement

Mobile has become the platform for gaming, with Gen Z accounting for 2.1x that of PC/Mac, and 2.4x that of home consoles in 2018.

Gen Z seem to gravitate to more complex games than older generations – PUBG for Gen Z vs. Candy Crush for those 25+. Brawl Stars has come up tops for the group in Indonesia. Having a social aspect (the ability to create and join clubs) is a prerequisite to maintaining continued engagement from Gen Z. 

Gaming developers who are unafraid to update gameplay to keep Gen Z engaged, offer strong multiplayer gameplay built for mobile, while being aware of the unique requirements of mobile gaming, will be clear winners.

Sourced from App Annie; additional content by WARC staff