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Financial Feels: How Gen Z are changing retail

Opinion

Published by:

13 July 2020

Author: Rachel Wilson

Image: T Levels by the Department for Education

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Working with fintech retail payments platform Afterpay, The Future Laboratory has produced a new foresight report exploring how Gen Z are reshaping the retail landscape

For a generation more fluent in their feelings than any who came before them, Gen Z’s attitude to money is no different. Amid the instability of a global pandemic, they are re-assessing what financial wellness means to them, changing how we save, pay and play.

Produced by The Future Laboratory in partnership with Afterpay, the Financial Feels report takes a detailed look at Gen Z’s attitudes to finance, lifestyle, commerce and fashion.

As a brand whose DNA began as distinctly Millennial, Afterpay wanted to look ahead to the next generation of consumers, and assess how their attitudes to finances differ from those of their older counterparts. Gen Z are turning away from credit, like Millennials did before them, and are assessing new ways of saving, spending and shopping.

We spoke to early adopters, experts and cultural navigators in three markets – Afterpay’s native Australia, the US and the UK – to paint a portrait of this next generation. We found that Gen Z are looking for budget-focused, short-term alternatives to credit. Raised on cancel-any time subscriptions and in the age of neo-banks, Gen Z don’t want to be locked into lengthy financial contracts, a flexibility that ultimately matches their own lifestyles.

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‘Gen Z are seeking out brands who connect with them as peers, empower them to take ownership of their finances, and ultimately align with their core values’

Financially cautious and living in a drastically destabilised world, Gen Z seek brands that connect with them as peers, empower them to take ownership of their finances and ultimately align with their core values. Shaped by social media, they have a keen eye for self-branding, and are fundamentally blurring the boundaries between commerce, community and entertainment. In constant conversation, however, this generation are quick to dismiss brands which are all talk and no action.

As well as providing a long-form report for Afterpay, The Future Laboratory transformed our insights further into a snack-sized summary for the company to give to its retailers to take into their PR activities, a downloadable version of which you can find here.

Our foresight reports are a compelling resource that provide insights to your company internally and help you carve out a distinct viewpoint externally. Find out more here.

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