5 Critical Changes the Customer of Tomorrow Demands Today
Massive shifts are taking place in how we work and how we sell and the business that thrives today will adjust to these now. The customer of tomorrow, the salesperson of tomorrow, the team of tomorrow, collaboration and the supply chain, and the role of entrepreneur/owner are all facing seismic changes. Those who heed the warning will reap tremendous benefits; those who ignore these changes will fight attrition. Following is the beginning of a 5-part part-mini series on what the business of tomorrow looks like, today:
By 2020 Gen Z will represent 40% of American consumers.The customer of tomorrow is already here. By 2020 Gen Z will represent 40% of American consumers and just like their predecessors, the millennial generation, they bring a host of expectations with their buying habits. Gen Z, along with millennials, continue to take over buying authority for promotional product budgets, here is a quick synopsis of the five critical things they expect:
1For apparel: More merchandise tailored to a unique experience. Less off the shelf logo-slaps on products and more care and attention given to bespoke merchandise that is unique from any other company. The market is also increasingly demanding fashion-forward apparel and the gap is closing faster and faster between current trends and the corporate market. (For a peek at trends, listen to our skucast episode with futurist, Vicki Ostrom).
2For merchandise and campaigns: A heightened sensitivity to emotional experiences through merchandise. With the Instagram influence, they bring expectations for beautiful products, and kitting and packaging are becoming more important as they seek to build holistic experiences through merch. More attention than ever should be paid to emotional experiences that deliver on real business objectives.
3Sustainability: This trend will continue to increase but you’ll see it spread broader and more rapidly: Less waste, materials that won’t harm the planet, more conscientious care to quality, and products produced that consider the wellness of the workers that produce them, plus, they will continue to seek out opportunities to marry merchandise with mission, purposeful promotions that are authentic and conscientious.
4Frictionless buying processes. Millennials, and in particular Gen-Z, bring with them a no-tolerance attitude toward systems that are not intuitive. They want silent systems with far less interaction through email. They are used to ordering an uber, their dinner, and their entertainment with a swipe or a touch on their phone and this instantaneous process means less steps to get what they want. They want a seamless process from ideation through to billing and have an impatience with antiquated processes that slow progress. Over 70% of the $24 billion dollar industry is still transacted outside of a shopping cart but that doesn’t mean they don’t want digital solutions (see next point).
5Consultation: Through technology, they will reduce the number of transactional processes needed to buy and they expect their primary communication with you to be consultative, not transactional. The old question that drove product demand was, “What’s new?” the new question you need to answer is “What works?” For a deeper dive into how to marry technology with consultative selling, check out our series on Engagement Commerce).
Swag has never before commanded the respect in the market that it has when it’s done right. This is the time for our industry, and your business, to capitalize on massive market shifts that can alter the trajectory of your growth. Adjust now and seize the win.
What other trends and demands are you noticing? Give us a shout on social @commonsku and share your thoughts with us!In our next post of this mini-series, we’ll cover what the salesperson of tomorrow looks like today!
commonsku is an effortless business management platform that empowers you to process more orders and handle more business. Learn more at commonsku.com.