How next generations will shape the future of SMBs?

01 April 2022

By 2030 Millennials and Generation Z will constitute the main target of consumers and will exert significant influence on SMB.

According to a study conducted by Frost & Sullivan for UPS, by 2030 Millennials (Ages 30-49) and Gen Z (Aged 10-29) will form the bulk of populations and will comprise prime target consumer groups. Although it is impossible to generalize about populations as large as these two segments, we are expecting that both these generation groups will exert notable influence on consumer trends, having the clout to shape the future of small and medium businesses.

From the research is emerged that Millennials & Gen Z will impact SMBs at twice the rate of other generation cohorts. Indeed, they are not only influential customers but will also constitute owners and employees of small & medium businesses, wielding a greater influence on ownership and purchasing behavior.

The ubiquity of digital technology has shaped Millennials and Gen Z expectation for constant connectivity and continual innovation in retail. As digital buyers, both groups value online shopping and flexible customer service options as two of the most important aspects of shopping with small businesses.

The key aspects during the shopping experience of both groups are:

  • Anywhere commerce: both groups use multiple device before making a purchase. A holistic omnichannel approach to consumer experience across online & offline platforms is critical.
  • Influencer economy: Millennials and Gen Z highly value influencer options. Nano-influencer with less than 2000 followers have higher engagement and traction due to perception and authenticity.
  • Social Commerce: 6 out of 10 Gen Zers report discovering new products via social media platforms that reduce friction by allowing in-app purchases.
  • Faster delivery: Both groups are 3X more likely to pay a premium for hyperlocal or same-day shipping.
  • Flexible payments: Young consumers are seeking more flexible payment mechanisms. Around 75% of buy-now-pay-later users in the US today are Millennials or Gen Z. 

Disparate generational characteristics of Millennials and Gen Z reveal distinct consumer and commerce behavior based on constantly changing needs. It is critical for SMBs to fully understand these generational demographics and cater to them by creating uniquely appealing experiences.

As SMB owner, it is important to offer scalable, flexible, and sustainable solutions that include the ability to personalize packaging and flexible shipping and returns options, offer omnichannel services for frictionless retail experience and flexible payment options. Further, a strong social responsibility, backed by authenticity and transparency across communication channels will help strengthen brand image and prolong relationships with Gen Z & Millennial customers.

With a worldwide team of over 450,000 employees and millions of customers, UPS is constantly adapting to change and helping our customers understand their supply chain needs.

Book a virtual consultation now to see what UPS can do you: /

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