Thursday, 27 July 2023

Small Businesses And Gen Z: Why Is It A Hard Relationship?

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Digital savvy, eco-conscious, and very demanding. When it comes to fashion and shopping, the youngest generation knows what they want. Small businesses are struggling with Gen Z.

Sad but true, small businesses are facing an uphill battle in capturing the hearts of younger customers. Why does not Gen Z believe in them?

Small Businesses vs Gen Z

According to new research from FM Outsource, Small Business Customer Service in 2023 research, independent businesses are experiencing a hard time in building their relationship with Gen Z and making the youngest generation their loyal customers. The facts seem particularly concerning for small fashion companies if one considers that 75% of spending by Gen Z is on fashion items.

The Research: Small Businesses And The Young Customers in 2023

For Gen Z, quality and sustainability always matter but shopping, delivery and customer service must be effortlessly smooth to conquer their loyalty. From the study run by FM Outsource, only a mere 22% of Gen Z believes that small companies' customer service rivals that of larger competitors.

The Small Business Customer Service in 2023 research from FM Outsource, looked into what customers want from small businesses and what they are actually offering. Despite reservations from Gen Z, the research revealed that older generations are more confident in the capabilities of small businesses. An impressive 60% of consumers, aged 55-64, believe they can offer the same service level as well-known brands.

According to past research, 38% of Gen Z require a wide range of channels to provide a good quality customer service experience. Yet, small businesses are not meeting this expectation, with over two-fifths of young people believing they are contactable across fewer touch-points including social channels. Comparatively, older customers are less concerned: with 21% expecting numerous contact channel options.

Today's discerning customers also think smaller brands are not as accommodating when it comes to the availability of customer service, with 33% believing so.

Martin Brown, CCO at FM Outsource, commented: “Gen Z are the customers of the present and the future for small businesses. Therefore, having support and loyalty from younger generations is key to long-term success.

“Unfortunately there is room for improvement when it comes to small business customer service. Particularly within the fashion industry, smaller retailers have an opportunity to capture some of the fashion-conscious Gen Z. However, this won’t be possible without catering to the needs of this generation".

“Ultimately, consumers are looking for swift and effective resolutions to their problem or query. In the case of younger people, this means offering a wide range of channels, including social media, email, and telephone to give them various ways of getting in touch. It also requires businesses to provide support outside of traditional working hours. With most young people either in full-time education or employment, providing support in the early morning and evening will satisfy their needs. We can support small businesses to provide a 24/7 omnichannel service that will address the misconceptions amongst younger demographics, increase customers and encourage growth.”

Zoomers' expectations are known to be high. If their need for consciously made apparel is propelling a positive change in the industry, their call for extremely fast customer service can be hard to achieve for the smallest realities. Will small brands be able to quickly adapt to Gen Z's hectic demands?