Retailers should be all too familiar with Gen Z – how trends translate globally, what CARLY stands for and the aesthetics emerging from TikTok into the mainstream. Now, get ready to meet their younger siblings, Gen Alpha, the tech-literate kids projected to be history’s largest generation in the next three years.
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Date of birth
2010 – present day
Also known as
Generation Glass, Upagers, Multi-Modals
Hobbies & Interests
Gaming & social media
Fortnite, Roblox, Among Us, Ryan’s World, Stormi Jenner, Gang Beasts, YouTube, the Metaverse.
Technology & wearables
Apple Watch, iPhone/iPad, AI, VR, voice-recognition, Oculus Rift.
Shopping & brands
High quality, sustainable, health-conscious, via social media, experiential retail.
Image via Instagram – Roblox, Kylie Jenner, Ryan’s World, Oculus
Skills & Attributes
The young cohort succeeds its Gen Z predecessor with elevated technological superiority and is the first generation born entirely in the 21st century. The “digital native” label takes on new meaning for Alphas, who are so familiar with technology that it has become an “extension of their own consciousness and identity.” This level of understanding is already being recognized, with education syllabuses pivoting to favor multimodal tools like iPads and video content.
Within retail, the digital world also holds a huge influence, with 55% of Gen Alpha admitting they would buy a product worn by an influencer/YouTube star and around 28% predicted to use social media as a vehicle for shopping. In terms of advancements in tech across assortments, brands are consistently upping the ante – in late 2020 Proctor & Gamble unveiled a voice-controlled toothbrush for children.
iPad Education – Image by Arthur Lambillotte via Unsplash
Set to outnumber the Baby Boomer cohort as the largest generation in the history of the world by 2025, Generation Alpha will wield immense influence within the retail sector. In 2020, 81% of children under 12 influenced purchase decisions, accounting for around $500bn in spending. Their reliance on technology and constant access to information combined with a culturally diverse upbringing should aid in building a prospective consumer who is decisive, open-minded and has high expectations.
Spending Power Gen Alpha Image by Windows via Unsplash
Raised by Gen Y parents, Alphas will align with overarching Millennial attitudes regarding sustainability, diversity and inclusivity, wellness and social injustice. These foundations will hugely influence how this young generation evolves, impacting everything from career choices to purchase preferences.
Retailers are catering to this population by ensuring products are geared towards those controlling the purse strings. Capturing the “mom economy” is key for the younger proportion of the demographic, while tween ages with more spending clout will appreciate Gen Y movements like minimalism, personalization and Millennial Pink.
Instagram – Kidly
Enhanced emotional intelligence
While there are concerns that such an intense relationship with technology may stunt social development, Alphas or “Upagers” will reach physical, social and emotional maturity early. Experience of the ongoing global pandemic has introduced unfamiliar concepts like social distancing, virtual learning and heightened awareness around health and hygiene. From this, there are suggestions that a more resilient generation will emerge, used to being creative with ways to communicate and learn, and more able to deal with traumatic situations.
Instagram – CWB