Generation Z is stressed out, and it’s no wonder. The human brain isn’t fully developed until our early 20s, and with the age of Gen Zers clocking in between 7 and 22, their impressionable gray matter is flooded with political turmoil, societal and economic woes, and health concerns. In fact, over 90% of Gen Z adults report having physical symptoms related to stress.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Watching their millennial predecessors struggle with personal and student debt has opened the eyes of this new generation to the downsides of capitalism. They have become choosy buyers, which is great for their future outlook, but trickier for businesses to navigate. Companies risk irrelevancy if they don’t know how to adapt to this change in buying culture.
When implemented effectively, chatbots cut through the fluff of e-commerce and guide young buyers to what they want when they want it. Deploying chatbots with Generation Z in mind is a powerful digital merchant tool.
SPEED AND EFFICIENCY
Being a digital native means Gen Zers are accustomed to quick results with fewer clicks. There is no patience for browsing through endless catalogs and navigating clunky websites. They expect real-time answers and will click away from a page with a chat queue longer than just a few seconds.
With a chatbot at their fingertips, finding what they want is a simple request away. By offering comparison shopping and coupons right through the chat window, Gen Zers come away feeling like their service was personalized and they scored a good deal, while companies are able to lower their human capital overhead and increase customer satisfaction.
This young generation values ethical company products and practices. Chatbots can ease a consumer’s mind by answering questions on a product’s country of origin, material content, and fair trade practices.
Web browsing is becoming archaic, with quick-access sources like Instagram and Snapchat taking its place. Capturing the attention of a Generation Z buyer needs to be immediate. Thanks to chatbots, Gen Zers are instantly engaged.
WIN/WIN DATA COLLECTION
Data can further increase the personalization aspect by building a profile of a particular buyer and offering products and services catered to them. The more often a customer shops with a particular brand, the more specific data on their buying trends become. The more specific data on their buying trends become, the more likely it is for a chatbot to recommend a product a customer will find value in.
If a chatbot throws a coupon or deal into the mix, a prime scenario for purchasing is born.
Since Generation Zers are shaping up to be fiscally responsible and less impulsive buyers, chatbots can even collect contact information at the end of an interaction with the promise of future promotions, opening the door for repeat business and brand loyalty.
There are right and wrong ways to deploy a chatbot. While millennials were chatting with Santa on AOL, looking for a fully immersive experience, Gen Zers are over it. They want transparency with their online interactions, and they can’t be fooled. Trying to pass a bot off as a human is likely to deter them from a site altogether, so it’s best to keep things on the up-and-up with these savvy shoppers.
Transparency may be more important than the human element, but that doesn’t mean humans never add value to a transaction. There are times when a chatbot just won’t be able to deliver a definitive answer, and being referred to a live representative is still a service Gen Zers value.
By freeing up customer service representatives with chatbots, human operators can get to pressing, emotionally charged concerns quicker. Dissatisfied customers are still more likely to find a solution from a human than a bot, but time is of the essence.
All eyes are on our youngest generation, and they feel that. In fact, Gen Zers are less likely to share public pictures of their meals and bathroom selfies than their older counterparts. This unexpected need for privacy and desire to steer clear of judgment makes them a perfect benefactor of chatbots.
Uploading a selfie to a chatbot and asking its recommendation on a good lipstick or the perfect bowtie is a lot less scary than sharing your current and dream state with a real-live human.
While older generations may feel anxious exposing themselves to a bot, Gen Zers feel right at home. And the more comfortable a customer is, the more likely they are to buy. Plus, bots are free from bias and make fantastic personal stylists and consultants.
In the generation to come, chatbots will be an expectation—not a nice-to-have. The transition doesn’t have to be painful for the market or consumers, though, as long as attention is paid to the wants and desires of tomorrow’s buyers.