Generation Z is ready to change the world. Businesses should take note.

Generation Z includes people born after 1996. In 2021, the oldest members of this generation are 24. They’ve graduated from high school, and some of have graduated from college. They’re still young, but they can work, shop and vote. They are a vocal generation, and they are not one that businesses can afford to ignore.

More and more, attracting new customers means attracting Gen Z buyers. To do that, you have to understand a few things about their values and needs.

Gen Z Cares About Social Issues

According to Marketing Dive, a Forrester study found that 51% of Gen Zers between the ages of 18 and 23 says they will always research a company to make sure it aligns with their position on corporate social responsibility before making a purchase. A Porter Novelli study found that 90% of Gen Zers believe companies must act to help with social and environmental issues, while 75% say they will do research to see if companies are honest about the stances they claim to take.

Recent social movements have pushed diversity and inclusion into the spotlight, while climate change is also a major concern. Businesses that want to appeal to Gen Z need to show that they’re taking these issues seriously.

COVID Has Set Gen Z Back

The pandemic hit Gen Z just as they were entering the workforce. Its impact will likely shape Gen Z finances for years to come.

Pew Research Center says that Gen Z was looking forward to a bright future with low unemployment and a strong economy. Then the pandemic struck. A survey found that half of all Gen Z adults (between the ages of 18 and 23) said that they or someone in their household had lost a job or taken a pay cut because of the pandemic. For comparison, only 40% of Millennials, 36% of Gen X, and 25% of Baby Boomers said the same.

Gen Z may be more money-conscious as a result. According to Nerd Wallet, 41% of Gen Zers say they feel anxious about their finances, and 72% at least sometimes feel regret about their personal spending.

Businesses looking to appeal to Gen Z should take these financial concerns into account. Gen Zers may be young, but that does not mean they aren’t thinking about savings.

Gen Z Demands Digital Payments

Millennials saw the rise of the internet. Gen Z, on the other hand, has grown up with the internet. They don’t know anything else. As a result, they expect digital tools and instant transactions.

NerdWallet found that 47% of Gen Zers prefer online banking to brick-and-motor banking, and nearly half of all adult Gen Zers have never written a check. According to PYMNTS, Gen Zers have embraced using smartphones as financial management tools, with more than 90% of Gen Zers between the ages of 18 and 21 says they have downloaded card apps.

Businesses that want to appeal to Gen Z customers need to offer the fast, digital payment options this generation wants and expects.

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