Is your apparel brand ready for Gen Z?

Think Millennials are savvy consumers? Wait till you meet Gen Z.

Who, or what is Gen Z?

According to this Mckinsey report, “Members of Gen Z—loosely, people born from 1995 to 2010— are true digital natives: from earliest youth, they have been exposed to the internet, to social networks, and to mobile systems.” They also differentiate from past generations in that they place high value on individualism and altruism, and approach life decisions in a pragmatic, deliberate manner. Activism is a big theme for Gen Z, who believe in mobilizing themselves for a variety of causes. In terms of consumption, they are more vocal, more conscious and more discerning when it comes to putting their money where their mouth is.

So how does Gen Z shop and what defines their consumption habits? According to a study published by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

  • In stores: Three-quarters of Gen Z say that shopping in physical stores provides a better experience compared with shopping online because of the ability to socialize, physically see items and get them immediately.  
  • Value-oriented: For apparel, the largest shares of Gen Z make purchases at discount department stores. They are also less likely to shop at other types of retailers than older shoppers.
  • Digitally-influenced: About eight of 10 Gen Zers say they have purchased items in stores as a direct result of seeing them on social media, with YouTube is the most influential platform.

What do they want from brands?

Gen Zers pragmatic approach to shopping and their regard for brands perceived to embody ethical elements, combined with a digital savvy for multi-channel research on best prices and best value prior to the actual purchase, means that  “Businesses must rethink how they deliver value to the consumer, rebalance scale and mass production against personalization, and—more than ever—practice what they preach when they address marketing issues and work ethics.”(Mckinsey, ‘True Gen’: Generation Z and its implications for companies)

For apparel and fashion brands courting this generation, the following are of significant importance:

  • Personalization: Brands need to create clothing that speaks to the uniqueness of the individual, be it in size or style, and the shopping process also needs to feel personalized.
  • Accessibility: Being able to purchase a piece of clothing seen on social media IRL should be a frictionless (and fun!) experience.
  • Sustainability: Gen Z is more aware of which brands are more ethically conscious and place emphasis on sustainable methods of production and distribution. For this socially-aware generation, brands that embody sustainability as part of their business DNA are aligned with their values.

How Fit Technology Solves This:

Fit technology is one of the ways for apparel brands to achieve all three goals. San Francisco-based fit technology company Bold Metrics offers brands and retailers the ability to match customers directly to not just their best fit according to size, but also to personalize the process by taking into account personal fit preferences, tailoring the shopping experience to meet every individual’s needs. By integrating the technology with garment data and customer feedback, their latest product offering—Apparel Insights™, provides enterprise-level companies and multi-brand retailers, the ability to streamline their production process, reduce unnecessary production and create clothing that fits according to demand.

It’s a breakthrough use of fit technology that not just reduces fit-related returns, which can add up to 70% of returns, but also help a brand become more sustainable. With fewer resources required to process them and less deadstock produced, companies which can very often end up in landfills or in the incinerator. With the demand for greater transparency, brands continue with unsustainable, wasteful methods of manufacturing and production to their detriment.

Conclusion: Bold Metrics fit technology provides a frictionless, highly accessible approach to shopping that can be leveraged both in-store and online. It helps create a synchronized omnichannel experience for Gen Z’s discerning shoppers and enables brands to provide high levels of shopper personalization, as well as incorporate a more actively sustainable approach to retailing.

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