Get ahead of the curve and meet Generation Z – The global, social and technological mobile app consumers.
The widespread popularity of smartphones and mobile technology owes much of its rapid adoption to Generation Y. That may seem like a ‘narcissistic millennial’ thing to say, but this cohort of young adults aged 18-34 grew up during the web revolution of the 1990s. As such, millennials were the first generation to have digital technology and the Internet embedded into their upbringing.
And with technology becoming more affordable and compact into the 2010s, smartphones have become a necessity in everyday life for millennials. For a generation that grew up immersed in the Internet, apps are virtually new tech products to easily adopt and navigate.
But while millennials grew up with the Internet, it’s the next generation that is coming of age alongside an unprecedented amount of technology. Generation Z (Also known as the iGeneration) is fast becoming the most mobile-consuming, app-savvy generation. Born in the late 1990s to now, they are strongly influenced by technology in terms of education and communication.
Furthermore, Gen Z’s interests in tech and how they use mobile apps is different from their predecessors. While millennials often prioritised mobility, authenticity and transparency in their apps, Gen Z is already showing a desire for security, privacy and immediacy.
To help you make an app for the linked-up and logged-on iGeneration, here are strategies to appeal to their interests and capture their attention. And with their spending projected to reach $200 billion by 2018, this is the generation who will decide the future of the app economy.
Gen Z consumers spend 15.4 hours a week on their smartphones. Source: Vision Critical
1. Keep the app’s design and usability simple
The design, usability and experience an app provides should resonate with the audience that it’s been developed for. When it comes to Gen Zers, there are few things less frustrating than an over-designed, complicated app.
As a key ingredient to a successful app, the navigational flow from screen-to-screen and between features should be as simple as possible for them. The last thing they want to do is waste time figuring out how to navigate an app.
ROKO Labs found that poor design is the third most common reason for Gen Zers to uninstall an app.
According to ROKO Labs CEO Dima Rakovitsky, “nearly three-quarters of iOS apps are distributed from the App Store with anywhere from one to ten bugs, while 20% of these apps are reported to have as many as 50 bugs.”
Tech-savvy kids uninstall apps if they don’t work how they’re supposed to. If you want to attract and engage Gen Z, make sure your app is simple to navigate and bug-free.
Gen Z’s most used and least used types of apps. Source: Adweek
2. Deliver content in a quick and convenient manner
As mobile devices have become more compact across generations, so too has the time span to grab their attention. Gen Z’s average attention span is around eight seconds, which is shorter than millennials.
Simply put, Generation Z want everything provided to them ASAP.
Download errors, slow loading and transitional crashes within an app are hugely detrimental to winning over millennials, and you have even less time to capture the attention of younger consumers.
The fluidity and immediacy that Gen Z crave has been highly influential in the popularity of apps like YouTube and Snapchat, as both apps offer platforms for users with short attention spans to quickly engage with content.
Make sure your app functions smoothly and that the content is was to understand. Doing this will put your app on the right path to attracting and retaining young consumers.
How Gen Z uses Social Media apps. Source: SocialTimes
3. Give the user control of their app experience
Gen Z is a lot more concerned about how their personal brand is impacted by their online personas. This is why they enjoy the fleeting nature of Snapchat and the secrecy of Kik. However, they also enjoy the control in curating everything, from photo collections with VSCO to music playlists on Spotify.
Gen Zers also are concerned about security across online platforms. According to a study from the Centre of Generational Kinetics, “Gen Z is more concerned than millennials about their security and privacy when paying online with debit and credit cards (63% compared to 58%).”
This higher concern over Internet security may be due to the high-profile hacks that have occurred over their lifetime. And yet, in the same study from the Centre of Generational Kinetics, also found that Gen Z have “fewer worries when entering similar details on mobile payment apps like Venmo.”
So why do Gen Z feel more comfortable putting their credit card details into an app than a website?
It’s because the mobile app provides the user with a sense a control that can’t be replicated by a website. Let’s consider Venmo: The ‘free digital wallet’ app provides an component of control regarding what is private or public in the app (Similar to Snapchat), as well as the power incorporate emojis into a financial transaction.
The bottom line is, Gen Z is cautious with their private information. As a result, providing an app experience where they feel empowered will directly impact their decision to download the app, engage with the features and, in turn, become a loyal consumer of the functionality provided.
So for anyone looking to make an app…
You need to understand the opportunities and challenges that come with targeting this mobile-loving consumer.
Your app has to be easy to navigate and bug-free. It has to provide content in a fast and straightforward manner. And finally, it needs to give users the power to curate their app experience.
Have an idea for an app with Generation Z appeal?
Contact us to see out how we can help you launch your innovative app project.