If your first response to talking about Gen Alpha shoppers and marketing strategies is,
“They are still kids”
Then think again.
In 2023, the first of Gen Alpha’s generation is turning 13.
They are hyper-connected, hyper-aware of society, and love to create.
For eCommerce brands, this is a time of transition, as Gen Alpha evolves into a not-so-passive shopper.
You can jump to:
Who is Generation Alpha?
Generation Alpha is the generation following Generation Z and currently includes all children born in or after 2010.
What are the characteristics of Generation Alpha?
Here are some characteristics of Generation Alpha:
- They are influenced by the buying behavior of their millennial parents and other Gen Z shoppers around them.
- They have unlimited access to information.
- They are aware of and want to be involved in social issues.
- They use technology for everything from education to social interactions.
- They like visual and audio-based content.
- They are diverse and curious about different perspectives and cultures.
- They accept and are passionate about inclusivity.
What is the buying behavior of Gen Alpha?
Let's delve into the buying behavior of Gen Alpha.
1. Gen Alpha has always been ‘digital’
Gen Alpha is the first truly digital generation.
‘Hey Alexa’ and ‘Hey Siri’ are part of their lives.
Generation Alpha depends on voice search to look up information and control household devices.
While more than half of them (51%) said they like to talk to Alexa, only around one in ten reported that it was their favorite method of shopping.
However, only 39% of them trust Alexa, with 43% of them saying they "weren't sure if they did or didn't".
So, while Gen Alpha might like to research products through Alexa and Siri, and go through other online reviews, they might not be comfortable using voice to shop online yet.
2. Social media is their comfort zone
Gen Alpha spends a significant amount of time on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
They like user-generated content, when brands respond to messages and like to participate in the online community.
3. Tablets are the most preferred device
Tablets are the most popular devices among Gen Alpha.
This suggests that larger handheld device screens and responsive apps will hold a more important place than they already do.
4. Generation Alpha watch video content
A report states that 82% of Gen Alpha consume online videos regularly.
5. Gen Alpha ‘games’ more than any other generation
Generation Alpha are using video games from a young age and it impacts their mindset in terms of being active participants to solutions. - Ashley Fell, social researcher, and author, of Generation Alpha
Research shows that 85% of Gen Alpha’s favorite activity is video gaming.
Brands such as Claire’s, Home Depot, and Kid’s Foot Locker have created immersive experiences with Roblox (an online game creation platform).
In these games, shoppers can engage with products in a metaverse.
This way, a store can improve its branding while it engages Gen Alpha’s love for gaming.
6. They influence purchasing decisions
A report found that a child’s influence on household purchases starts around the age of five and is consistent across income groups.
Moreover, 70% of Gen Alpha parents say they have made purchases influenced by their kids’ favorite show or character.
For children aged five to nine, 85% of their parents reported that their children had asked for products seen in stores.
It’s also worthwhile to note that 79% of children ages five to seven and 76% aged eight to nine asked for products they saw on TV.
How to market to Generation Alpha as an eCommerce store?
1. Build a ‘Creator Community’
Gen Alpha are creators.
They like to be part of the process and are heavily influenced by the creator community.
Some of their future jobs will also revolve around being a creator.
Brands such as Lego have taken strides in creating a visually appealing platform with interactive content.
Lego has a strong presence on social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, where they share engaging and interactive content that aligns with Gen Alpha’s interests.
To specifically target Gen Alpha, the brand created Lego Life, a social media platform where children can share their own Lego creations, get inspiration from other children, and participate in challenges and competitions.
This way, it encourages Gen Alpha to collaborate with their peers and increase brand awareness and loyalty.
2. Make Social Causes a Part of the Product USP
Generation Alpha has lived through the pandemic in its earliest years.
They have proven to be resilient and developed social interactions through online communities.
This has led to an increase in awareness about everything from the climate to gender diversity.
However, they also like to spotlight and contribute to improving situations.
Gen Alpha expects eCommerce brands to have a similar outlook and participate in making a change.
Lego has pledged that all their major products will be made of sustainable materials by 2030.
Patagonia uses sustainable materials to manufacture outerwear and also helps customers repair their clothing instead of buying new items.
While brands like Johnny Footwear have made climate-friendly shoes their entire product USP.
Johnny Footwear has a unique model.
They manufacture biodegradable shoes with environmentally friendly materials.
Once customers have finished using the shoes, they can plant them in soil and watch a tree grow from a seed encased in the shoe’s sole.
Best of all, the brand has also pledged to plant a tree to match every purchase.
3. Collaborate with kid-friendly influencers
Generation Alpha loves merchandise.
Especially when it involves their interests.
Ryan’s World is reputably Gen Alpha’s first breakout star with a Youtube Channel that started as a toy reviewer and has now evolved into educational content and even video games.
Understanding the impact Ryan’s World had on toy sales led Walmart to partner with the Youtuber for an exclusive release of merchandise.
Similarly, children’s eyewear brand Roshambo partnered with Blippi to create official Blippi sunglasses and prescription glasses.
4. Commit to Inclusivity
Gen Alpha accepts gender diversity, size inclusivity, races, and any disabilities or disorders.
Therefore, brands should not only accept but create a safe and welcoming environment for all kinds of shoppers.
One small business that paved the way for higher levels of inclusivity is A Tribe Called Queer.
The brand started a line of gender-neutral, size-inclusive clothing and accessories designed to help spark conversation.
Nike is one of several brands launching or expanding clothing and accessories for the disability community.
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