CIBJO has released a new report detailing the buying habits and behaviour of Gen Z.
Authored by Jonathan Kendall, president CIBJO marketing and education commission and president De Beers Group Industry Services, the Deconstructing The Next Great Jewellery-Buying Generation report notes that Gen Z (those aged 15-25) are predicted to spend £115bn in 2019, and therefore understanding the needs and the wants of these shoppers is crucial to the future of the jewellery industry.
Kendall writes: “I wish to reiterate how absolutely critical it is that all of us understand Generation Z and the implications that this giant consumer group holds for our business and our industry.”
“Gen Z are forecast to spend a whopping $143bn this year alone. So we better get them on our side if we want to enjoy a rosy future,” he warns.
The report highlights that social media plays a huge part in their lives – specifically Instagram, WeChat, and WhatsApp – which they use to create a “global community” where they compare products, experiences, and opinions continuously.
According to Kendall, on a daily basis on Instagram alone users publish over 95 millions posts, and its users click more than 4.2 billion likes.
“Just imagine the scale of this opportunity of your new product meets their aspirations and desires,” says Kendall. “Your audience and potential client base can literally escalate in minutes.”
Kendall says the travels industry has been positively impacted by social media, with researching suggesting 80% of trips are influenced by the medium.
He warns: “If we don’t focus on social media, we simply won’t have a future.”
The report also suggests the industry offers support to this generation of people who “want to change the world”.
This could be through encouraging young entrepreneurs, designers and craftspeople, or showing them how jewellery can be used help improve the environment. This generation just want to make a difference.
“Second-hand shopping makes a lot of sense for sustainability minded, financially savvy Gen Z,” says Kendall. “Almost 70% of people in this generation consider sustainability to be an important factor in making a purchase.”
He continues: “As an industry we sit in a really positive place for reusing. But we need to market this aspect of our offering in a new way, so this generation will buy our products enthusiastically.”
The report also urges the jewellery industry to keep authenticity at the heart of its product offering; note that this generation are more gender-aware and look for gender neutral products; and react well to friendly tones of communication.
In advertising this generation want to see real life people, rather than celebrities, and they take on recommendations from people they trust, which is why customer service is king as a memorable experience will cause this group of shoppers to share and influence their friends.
When addressing retail, the report says Gen Z shoppers “crave good old-fashioned customer service, and instantaneous and clear responses to their questions”. As a result, staff training is crucial to closing sales with this cohort.
Equally important is store design, with Gen Z looking for well organised, easy-to-navigate retail environments.