Top 4 Reasons Why the New Generation of Consumers Loves Click and Collect

Top 4 Reasons Why the New Generation of Consumers Loves Click and Collect

Is your business ready for the new generation of consumers?

We don’t necessarily mean Millennials and Gen Zeds whom we already know too well by interacting with them or being them.

We are going to discuss Generation Alpha instead — their qualities, distinct characteristics, as well as their consumer behaviour. Later on, based on these facts, we will uncover their potential attitude towards BOPIS strategies (buy online pick up in-store) and stores with click-and-collect policies.

Whether you work in the retail or hospitality industry, you will find insights that might shape how you run your business on many levels.

What Is Generation Alpha?

If you’ve ever wondered “what comes after Generation Z”, Mark McCrindle, an award-winning social analyst from Australia, provided the answer. He coined the label ‘Alpha’ for the new generation and revealed insights related to their character and behaviour.

Gen Alpha are those born between 2010-2024. As we write this, some of your potential customers haven’t been born yet, while the oldest are 12. But time flies fast, and by the end of the 2020s, many of them will enter the workforce and become the decision-makers in their lives.

Painting a (Digital) Picture of the Alphas

By being exposed to digital devices and social media from an early stage, Gen Alpha are more tech-savvy than the older generations.

Apart from their digital literacy — which we will see how much it influences their shopping behaviour — we must also mention a few other important qualities.

For example, they are more globally connected and social than any other generation. Because they are exposed to the same content and have access to the same trends and vocabulary, as well as social media, they break down cultural barriers.

Gen Alpha consumers are also great visual and hands-on learners. They are acquiring coding, robotics, and social media marketing skills to prepare for new, futuristic jobs.

Lastly, they are more mobile and adaptable, with a longer lifespan than their parents and grandparents. Researchers say they will change many jobs throughout their lives. The common denominator in their activities will be the search for purpose and lifelong learning.

How Are Gen Alpha Consumers Different from Generation Z Consumers?

According to the experts at McCrindle Research, we can identify four traits that set them apart from any other generation before them:

  1. Growing up in a digital world

    In contrast to Millennials and Gen Zs, who experienced a digital world taking shape before their eyes, Alphas feel empowered through technology from a young age. They know what an App is as toddlers; computers and tablets are second nature, and some even start to influence their surroundings. Think of the many ‘kidfluencers’ on YouTube or even ‘kidpreneurs’ who show that living in a “passion economy” is possible.

    They are not just consumers but also creators.

  2. Being exposed to a pandemic

    Those who spent nearly two years of their formative years in the midst of a global pandemic will be influenced by those circumstances. Missed birthday celebrations, social isolation, and replacing school with makeshift online lessons are some of the experiences that will make them more creative, adaptable, and resilient in the future.

    Alphas are no strangers to online shopping with home delivery or click-and-collect shops. After all, these solutions were essential for making safe provisions in 2020. In fact, the pandemic motivated many retail and hospitality businesses to adapt to a shopping preference that is now becoming increasingly popular.

  3. Being truly globally connected

    While media and culture have always had the role of connecting different people around the world, Generation Alpha is the first one with a truly global vision. They have access to information at a young age and with a single click of a button.

  4. Being more concerned with career and financial stability

    They will witness economic volatility and expensive housing, making them more pragmatic and conservative with their finances.

    McCrindle compares them to their grandparents (Gen X), arguing that they will work just as hard for a secure future. They “will resemble their grandparents, but with crypto”.

Consumer Habits and Attitude Towards a BOPIS Policy (Buy Online Pick Up In Store)

Let's first go over what a BOPIS system (commonly known as click & collect) means, and then look at the available data regarding consumer buying habits.

What is BOPIS?

BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store) is a free service that allows customers to make an online order and later pick it up at their preferred store or another designated location. At checkout, they can select the most convenient pick-up time and place. All they need to do when collecting their purchase is to present the order number they received by email.

One of the many perks of BOPIS is that the shop can send automatic notifications about the click-and-collect order status via email or phone, thus reducing the perceived wait time.

Another benefit can be experienced during public holidays or other busy days for stores and restaurants, when click & collect helps to avoid overcrowded spaces. Customers can even pick up their purchases outside the store hours — a BOPIL service is perfect for that.

Why Does Gen Alpha Love Click-and-Collect?

Generations’ preference for click-and-collect shops. Source: Statista
alt text suggestion: order online pick up in store

Based on the general characteristics and values of the new generation, as well as the growing trend of click-and-collect, we can make some accurate assumptions about Alphas’ shopping behaviours.

1. They Are More Tech-Oriented than Us

Also known as the Glass Generation, Gen Alpha will easily incorporate mobile apps and online platforms into their daily shopping and living — some may already browse food delivery apps and show the ropes to their grandparents.

Using a click-and-collect system and keeping up with its improvements will be a walk in the park for them.

2. They Like Convenience and Fast Delivery

In an era of instant gratification, it’s no surprise that Generation Z consumers have a lower attention span than Millennials (8 vs. 12 seconds), and it will only become more challenging for businesses to respond to the needs of future generations.

If you own an eCommerce business, you need to make sure you have a sound queue management system in place along with your click-and-collect strategy, so that you don’t extend customer wait time more than necessary.

3. They Support Companies Who Do Their Part for the Planet

We live in the so-called “second age of sustainability”, where society tends to slow down the overconsumption of natural resources and enforce better policies to reduce waste.

For Gen Alpha consumers, that means they are more preoccupied with how their items are made and the delivery method used — even more so than Millennials and Generation Z consumers.

Highly concerned about their carbon footprint, Alphas will be very annoyed with unnecessary packaging and excessive use of fuel. That’s why they will choose stores with click-and-collect policies over those that only provide home delivery.

Shopping responsibly will come easy for them if they are exposed to positive habits in their formative years.

4. They Are More Conscious and Frugal Consumers

As mentioned in a previous section, Alphas won’t take their financial security for granted and will make pragmatic shopping decisions.

They will look for a good discount offer and other ways to save money such as buying second-hand products. Additionally, the complimentary service of click-and-collect is a win-win for everyone involved.

To further incentivise customers, retailers can easily develop loyalty programs in click-and-collect stores.

Make a Meaningful Connection Through Storeplay IQ

In this article, we have addressed some intriguing questions such as:

  • What is generation Alpha?
  • How are they different from previous generations?
  • What will their attitude toward BOPIS (buy online pick up in store) be?

As the saying goes, a business should meet its customers where they are — or where they will be, in this case. So, we hope this article has provided you with some tips on how you may want to adjust to meet your prospective customers.

If you want to be well-prepared for your future clients and adopt a sound click & collect strategy, we invite you to get in touch with us.