Thunes survey of ‘Zoomers’ in 13 countries

To achieve growth and success past 2030, businesses must start to understand the living, shopping, and financial habits of Gen Z or Zoomers (consumers aged between 16 and 24) now – and accept that they are very different from previous generations. This group, which has never lived without smartphones and the internet, is the largest on the planet. This age group accounts for nearly 2.5 billion people, surpassing Millennials in 2019.

Zoomers, a global payment platform, is here to shed some light. Thunes they conducted a global study on their shopping habits, payment preferences, and social media. 6,500 people were interviewed between 16 and 24, from 13 countries developed and emerging.

Thunes’ Gen Z: The Future of Spending survey: some highlights

  • Social Media: Gen Z is more affected by social media than any generation before it. 89% of respondents said that they use social media multiple times per day. Three quarters (75%) of Zoomers log in to social media multiple times daily in emerging markets. Half of them also report that they have purchased products from online stores. Social media is not only where Gen Z spends money, but it’s also where they are increasingly making their money. With increasing content monetization options from TikTok. YouTube. Patreon. Clubhouse. and Twitch.
  • Mobile Wallets and Money Management: Gen Z has little enthusiasm for traditional financial products – be it bank accounts or credit cards. 62% of Gen Z’s don’t have any bank account at all. Mobile wallets are expanding rapidly, and nearly half of Zoomers in some emerging markets use them.
  • Shopping: Zoomers spend a slightly larger proportion (19%) of their money online shopping than they do on socializing, eating out, and entertainment – this is the case in developed and emerging markets.
  • Cash is down but not out: Nearly a quarter of zoomers in western markets don’t use cash at all. While physical currency is still an important part of offline spending in emerging economies, its importance is decreasing. This is not surprising considering the variety and accessibility of digital tools.
  • Focus on Brand and UX: One of the most important drivers for Zoomers considering purchase and payment methods is brand trust – it became the #1 factor for choosing a primary payment method in 7 countries. This is true for both Western and Emerging markets. In an online world, user experience is a key factor that affects loyalty.

Thunes CEO Peter De Caluwe said: “To many, Gen Z is a misunderstood and overlooked generation. This is a generation to which “dial-up” and “desktop” are meaningless words and who don’t just think “mobile-first”, but live and breathe in apps, social media, digital platforms and soon – the metaverse. We should start to take this generation seriously as the revenues and strategic plans of many businesses – especially those that are relying on fast growth – are dependent on them”.

“We knew that social media would be a key part of a Zoomer’s daily life, but what our survey helped to reveal is the extent to which they are driving spending activity in this demographic. We wanted to look into their relationship with money as well as their passion for mobile-driven payment options. As a company that embraces the diversity of Payments and builds the next-generation Payments infrastructure for the world, we will use these insights to shape our Payment capabilities and solutions for the large group of the Internet businesses that we serve,” He concluded by adding.

Mobile wallets have gained popularity in emerging markets, where it is difficult to get bank accounts and financial exclusion is rampant. In Asia, mobile providers led the digital payments revolution, while major telecoms providers in Africa have provided similar digital payment solutions.

Social media, entertainment and payment platforms are all important to the future of the internet. Consumer brands that want to make a profit from Zoomers’ online spending habits and social media must take into account these factors. Gen Z will be influenced by their social circle, brand engagement online, trendy, convenient and trustworthy payment options.

Peter De Caluwe said: “Failure to recognize the imminent influence of the digitally native Zoomer could result in a once perfectly shoppable brand witnessing slipping sales.”

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