Capturing Gen Z's Pulse

Plus Tips, Tricks & News for Boutique Owners and their Team

Happy Tuesday.✌️ Welcome to the 6th edition of our weekly newsletter!

Although foot traffic appeared to be down at last week’s Magic Apparel Show in Vegas, we were happy to learn that many of our favorite vendors had record sales. We remain very excited about Fall for the retail boutique industry.

Let’s get into the latest trends, strategies, and insights to help you stay on top. All in a 5-minute weekly read. Sign up here to continue to stay in the know.

In this week’s edition:

  • 🌊 Deep Dive: Capturing Gen Z's Pulse

  • 👗 What do Gen Z Shoppers Want?

  • 🛍️ These Are Gen Z & Millennials’ Favorite Places to Shop, Online or Off

  •  Tips, trends, & tidbits

Quick Hits

  • 🤳 What Do Gen Z Shoppers Want? A Cute, Cheap Outfit That Looks Great on Instagram (Link)

  • 👚 Brand Discovery in Gen Z: A Convo With The Digital Fairy (Link)

  • 🖥️ These Are Gen Z & Millennials’ Favorite Places to Shop, Online or Off (link)

Deep Dive 🌊 

Tech's Influence on Fashion: Capturing Gen Z's Pulse

In this digital epoch, enterprises must adapt to the tempo of their clientele. This rings particularly true for merchants vying for Gen Z's attention, a demographic renowned for its meticulous preferences. Given that Gen Z fuels a whopping $150 billion in U.S. expenditure, merchants must harmonize with their beat to flourish. Here, technology emerges as the conductor, shaping a retail ambiance that strikes a chord with contemporary youth.

Tailored Experiences: Orchestrating Retail Magic

Gen Z yearns for bespoke experiences. They desire a shopping journey that mirrors a tailor-fitted ensemble. Leveraging technology, merchants can sift through data, employing algorithms to refine offerings, proposing ensemble ideas or deals that mirror individual predilections. This extends beyond mere transactions; it's about orchestrating a retail melody that garners allegiance and involvement.

The Imperative of Bespoke Solutions for Gen Z Fashion Followers

In the cutthroat realm of fashion selling, curating unparalleled shopping trips for the discerning Gen Z cohort is paramount. Made-to-order tools have emerged as the cornerstone for fashion sellers targeting this group, enabling them to craft experiences that resonate with the distinctive ethos of Gen Z. By harnessing avant-garde customization technologies, these sellers not only boost Gen Z's contentment but also carve out a unique niche among their competitors.

The Gen Z Era of Tailor-Made Experiences

The outdated notion of a one-size-fits-all birthday discount is an antiquity for Gen Z. This digital-native group clamors for a retail journey that's tailored from start to finish. A McKinsey survey reveals that while 71% of Gen Z yearns for customization, only 60% feel brands are delivering.

Sellers adept at providing such made-to-order experiences for Gen Z reap plentiful rewards, seeing improved consumer outcomes and robust business growth. In contrast, those lagging face stark consequences, with 62% of Gen Z poised to switch to brands that exhibit a personalized touch.

The Payoffs of Tailored Engagements for Gen Z

Customization goes beyond mere rapport-building; it's about offering expediency and premium services that Gen Z desires. They want a sense of respect and value from their chosen brands. McKinsey's data suggests that 75% of Gen Z cherishes customization for its ability to streamline both digital and brick-and-mortar journeys. Additionally, 67% enjoy receiving product recommendations that resonate with their unique inclinations.

In our fast-paced modern environment, Gen Z avoids sifting through countless products. They desire a refined process that swiftly unveils relevant items. Made-to-order tools equip fashion sellers to satisfy this demand, displaying curated selections aligned with Gen Z's preferences, thereby saving their time and energy.

The Gen Z Business Case for Bespoke Solutions

Channeling resources into customization is not just a nod to Gen Z's satisfaction but also a shrewd commercial strategy. Per Statista, American enterprises allocated $13.3 billion on external audience intelligence in 2021, underscoring the escalating value of data-driven customization tailored to Gen Z.

A key perk of skilled customization is amplifying conversion metrics. Platforms like GardeRobo AI prioritize merchandise likely to be purchased by Gen Z, exponentially increasing successful sales opportunities. Epsilon posits that Gen Z is 80% more likely to complete a purchase when the retail journey is meticulously customized.

Furthermore, customization is an ongoing endeavor. By streamlining the buying process and consistently unveiling desired products, fashion sellers can cultivate unwavering Gen Z loyalty. An impressive 78% of Gen Z confirms that tailored experiences increase their repurchase likelihood, forging lasting bonds and transforming ambivalent buyers into brand champions.

The Renaissance of Artificial Intelligence for Gen Z

Once seen as an expensive and complex undertaking, AI has transformed the retail landscape for Gen Z. AI-infused customization solutions analyze massive data troves and render instant verdicts, requiring minimal seller input. Even small gestures to make Gen Z feel valued can profoundly transform their shopping journeys.

Social Platforms: The New-age Shopping Guide

Frequently, Gen Z seeks inspiration via social platforms. Sites like TikTok have morphed into pivotal stops on their purchasing voyage. They scout for brands that don't just vend but also inspire. For instance, while 73% of Gen Z harnesses social media to bond with kin or pals they encounter offline, a sizable chunk is amenable to brand interactions: 36% would craft digital content for a brand, 42% would delve into an online game for a campaign, and 43% would partake in product critiques. It's imperative for brands to align their outreach with Gen Z's ethos and lifestyle.

Brick-and-Mortar Insights

Contrary to their digital prowess, an astounding 98% of Gen Z frequents physical outlets. Armed with insights from their mobile devices, they expect in-store representatives to be equally, if not more, knowledgeable about the store's offerings. Gen Z cherishes the curated selections physical outlets present and often solicits suggestions from in-store experts. Interestingly, 28% of Gen Z shoppers are inclined to seek advice from store representatives, a figure that surpasses the 21% average across other age groups.

Beyond the Purchase: Engaging with Brands

Gen Z's brand interactions transcend mere acquisitions. They anticipate brands to seamlessly integrate into their daily lives. Disconnected brand messages risk being sidelined by Gen Z. Brands should engage in a manner that resonates, perhaps by crafting evocative videos that subtly promote a product or idea. This holistic approach trumps a singular focus on sales.

Digital Fusion: Fashion's New Horizon

E-commerce Ascendancy and Direct Consumer Engagement

The digital metamorphosis has left an indelible mark on the fashion realm. E-commerce portals have emerged as the go-to for numerous shoppers, Gen Z being a prime example. The allure of perusing extensive collections from one's sanctuary, complemented by tailored suggestions and hassle-free return policies, has rendered online shopping an enticing venture.

Brands such as Fashion Nova and ASOS have burgeoned, largely owing to their robust digital footprint. They harness data analytics to fathom consumer inclinations, ensuring their collections resonate.

Augmented Reality: Revolutionizing Virtual Trials

AR-infused virtual dressing rooms are narrowing the chasm between digital and in-person shopping. Shoppers can now virtually don apparel, accessories, or cosmetics, offering a tangible sense of products sans physical interaction.

For instance, Sephora's Virtual Artist tool empowers users to virtually sample cosmetics, ensuring an impeccable shade match. Similarly, Nike's AR utility offers a real-time sneak peek of how sneakers complement one's feet.

Sustainability Meets Digital

With sustainability gaining traction, digital platforms are evolving into sanctuaries for green brands. These portals offer granular insights into sourcing and production, fostering transparency and trust among eco-aware consumers.

Applications like Good On You rank fashion entities based on their ethical and environmental ethos, steering consumers towards eco-friendly choices.

Social Media: The Fashion Trendsetter

Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are instrumental in shaping fashion narratives. Influencers, with their eclectic styles and innovative fashion hacks, inspire legions, making these platforms potent tools for brand amplification and consumer engagement.

For instance, a TikTok wave that transformed oversized tees into chic dresses triggered a spike in basic tee sales, underscoring the platform's sway over fashion decisions.

Fashion's Diversity Quandary

Despite its dynamism, the fashion sector exhibits glaring diversity gaps. Ethnic minorities, in particular, grapple with industry entry barriers. And even when they penetrate, the welcome isn't always warm. This representation void is evident from fashion academia to the industry's zenith.

Research by McKinsey & Company, in tandem with PVH Corp. and the CFDA, spotlighted the dearth of diverse talent in fashion. Feedback from diverse fashion aficionados offers profound insights. Their narratives illuminate the hurdles they encounter, from prejudiced attitudes to skewed hiring dynamics.

Tech's Role in Championing Inclusivity

Innovations like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are pivotal in championing inclusivity in fashion. These tools enable virtual apparel trials, catering to an array of body shapes, thereby fostering body positivity.

Fashion Luminaries Championing Inclusivity

Fashion stalwarts are awakening to the diversity imperative and are taking strides towards inclusivity.

Wrapping Up: Gen Z's Retail Future

In the U.S., Gen Z's affinity for loyalty programs is on an upswing, with those valuing them witnessing a 17% surge since Q4 2021. This presents a golden opportunity for retailers.

In summation, Gen Z's aspirations serve as a clarion call for merchants. By leveraging technology, they can sculpt not just a satisfactory but a harmonious retail experience. As this cohort shapes consumer trends, tech-savvy retailers will be at the vanguard of the retail symphony.

Latest Finds From LA Fashion Insider

Pearl Studded Moto Jacket

AI Fashion Style of the Week 🤖 

Each week, our resident AI expert generates a fashion design with the help of artificial intelligence. If enough people like it, we may just make it.

A Chinese porcelain tracksuit for the athleisure crowd

Tip of the Week 😎 

Instagram Highlights are a great way to showcase your best content, engage with your followers, and make your profile more visually appealing. Here are some steps to create Instagram Highlights:

  1. Open Instagram and go to your profile.

  2. Tap the "+" icon on the "Highlights" section.

  3. Choose the stories you want to add to your highlight and tap "Next".

  4. Choose a name for your highlight and tap "Add".

  5. To add a cover image, tap "Edit Cover" and choose an image from your camera roll or take a new one. You can also use third-party apps like Canva to create custom cover images.

  6. Tap "Done" to save your highlight.

Here are some additional tips for creating Instagram Highlights:

  • Use this new format to tell an ongoing story, showcase your products or services in a structured and categorized way, and provide a library format of useful content that you’ve already shared.

  • Make sure to choose a name for your highlight that accurately reflects the content you're sharing.

  • Use custom cover images to make your highlights more visually appealing and on-brand.

  • You can also add Instagram Highlights without posting to your story by using the "Add to Highlights" option when you create a new story.

The best marketing doesn't feel like marketing.

Tom Fishburne

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We’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you think of this week’s newsletter or what topics you’d like us to cover. See You Next Week! 👋 

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