IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 5 Dec 2011

The ‘Digital Native’ Generation

Alex IevinsThe purchasing habits of customers are changing, with those of tomorrow’s consumers being very different to those of older generations. Retailers need to be taking note of this now to ensure that they are able to attract and engage their future customers.

The term ‘digital native’ is one which has been coined recently. The characteristics of this generation are as follows:

1. Firstly this generation are connected 24/7, and many don’t even have an email addresses.  Instead, all of their communications are carried out via Facebook, or instant messaging. They want information now, therefore email or texting may be deemed too slow.

2. Searches conducted by this generation are predominantly done via You tube, as opposed to Google, which is my natural search tool. This demonstrates the importance of video content to retailers to attract younger generations.

3. As keen social ‘social shoppers’ this generation like to get their friends opinions on items before purchase, or read reviews by fellow customers. Posting photos can be from either the retailers social media site, or from the Facebook pages of individual customers, who are not just using f-commerce to transact but also for that all important peer approval.

4. Retail reviews are becoming increasingly important. With the younger generations preferring to read non-official reviews, or choosing not to look at the company website to gain information, but instead entrusting fellow customers and their ‘real’ opinions. This demonstrates the importance of customer service. Essentially what people are saying about you or your products, will be their key selling point.

5. This generation are less loyal; one third of 18-24 year olds not belonging to loyalty schemes, yet, this demographic are more open to receiving ‘relevant’ offers from retailers. This is where the importance of personalisation is highlighted The key for retailers is to ensure that their communications are relevant and timely.

Does your business target ‘Digital Natives’? Or would you consider yourself to be a member of the ‘Digital Native’ generation? Post your comments below or email

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