Gen Z Study: 3 Trends That Will Redefine Tomorrow’s Digital Lifestyle

Gen Z Study: 3 Trends That Will Redefine Tomorrow’s Digital Lifestyle

Younger consumers crave tech simplicity, will increase device and channel use, and want more content control, according to a study by the Center for Generational Kinetics

The ubiquitous adoption of mobile devices, and the wide range of services offered on them, has profoundly raised and changed consumer expectations of communications, internet, entertainment and content providers.

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To find out how different generations behaviors are formed by the digitalization, Cognizant commissioned the Center for Generational Kinetics to study the digital content consumption habits, perceptions and trends in the U.S. for three groups over the next three to five years: Gen Z (ages 15–22), Millennials (or Gen Y) (ages 23–41), and Gen X (ages 42–53).

Here are three of the most compelling findings from the research, with a focus on Gen Z.

  • Gen Z just wants tech to “work”. Appealing to the needs of Gen Z is essential for future growth. These young consumers spend considerable time ensuring that their smart devices stay connected. And their willingness to pay for a service to maintain their connected home devices reflects a fundamental desire for technology that works reliably with little effort on their part. When devices don’t work, Gen Z is most reliant on others to fix things and is open to paying for such help. Only 52% of Gen Z respondents said they usually fix their smart devices themselves, compared with 63% of Gen Xers and 72% of millennials.
  • Consumers want to control their content. Rather than passively consuming content, younger customers want deeper interaction with and more control over the content, especially in collaboration with (or competition against) other users. More than half of Gen Z and millennial respondents, and 45% of Gen X respondents, said they’d like to control the content of a movie or TV show in the future. More than half of Gen Z and millennials, and just under half of Gen X respondents, said they were likely or very likely to use virtual VR to watch shows and movies or play games in the next three to five years.
  • Consumers trust each other, not your impersonal ads. Our research shows young customers are conflicted about how much personal information companies should gather and use to target ads to them. More than two-thirds of all respondents are concerned that companies know too much about them from their online activities, and an equal number think that their digital assistants listen to them without their permission — which they deem as unethical. More than 4 in 10 feel that customized advertising based on information gathered from a personal assistant would be a violation of their privacy. Most also view random online ads as an interruption and feel that ads relevant to their online behaviors are only modestly better than random ads. And nearly half said inappropriate, offensive content will make them associate a nearby ad with that off-putting content.

What do these findings mean to your business? What changes to the organization, technology and content delivery strategies does it take to meet the new needs? Learn more and get suggestions on how to respond to the trends.

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