Part 2 of 4
With more than 2.8 million members being born globally each week, it is high time that we take a closer look at what makes Generation Alpha, or Gen Alpha, tick. Today’s 6- to 16-year-olds are growing up in a world markedly different from previous generations - the result of some of the most radical and rapid shifts in social and cultural movements ever.
Gen Alpha will comprise the demographic group born from 2010 to 2025, succeeding Generation Z. This generation is the first to be fully born in the 21st century and is often linked with Gen Y, as most members of Gen Alpha have millennial parents; as such they are sometimes called “mini millennials”.
Gen Alpha is expected to number close to two billion by 2025 with India poised to have the largest population of Gen Alphas, followed by China and Indonesia.
In the last instalment, we addressed Gen Alpha’s influence on the hospitality industry, and now we examine how this generation is going to shape the retail landscape.
Today’s children have grown up in a world of smartphones and touchscreens, social media and video-on-demand. In fact, they have grown up in a world where everything is on demand, with information, entertainment, AND human contact literally at their fingertips. Therefore, it is important to understand the influence they wield when it comes to the retail landscape.
Alphas are the shoppers of tomorrow. The powerful influence this Gen has on the spending habits of their parents is well established, impacting every offering from toys to technology to clothing to food. Today’s teenagers are already a reckoning force, complete with their own - albeit limited - spending power.
Gen Alpha is ushering in a new era of retail, bringing about significant changes and challenges for businesses. Let’s explore the influence of artificial intelligence (AI) on the retail landscape, for it has a profound influence on marketing strategies, as it enables personalised and data-driven approaches. Businesses are increasingly relying on AI to analyse consumer behaviour, predict trends, and customise advertising to individual preferences.
Furthermore, these technologies are shaping the cognitive development of Alphas, who are exposed to highly targeted content from an early age, raising questions about the long-term effects of such digital immersion.
Growing up in a world permeated by technology and instant access to information, they exhibit a distinct "I want it now" mentality. This mentality is shaped by their exposure to the conveniences of the digital age, where instant gratification is the norm. Alphas have been raised in an era where information, entertainment, and products are readily available at their fingertips, often delivered within minutes or hours. E-commerce, on-demand streaming, and quick delivery services have conditioned them to expect immediate results. Their parents, often millennials or older members of Gen Z, have also been influenced by this culture of instant gratification.
This mentality extends beyond just material possessions. Alphas are accustomed to immediate answers to their questions and instant access to an endless stream of content and entertainment. They are growing up in a world where waiting is minimised and convenience is maximised, influencing their expectations of the world around them.
Gen Alpha will mature into highly ‘woke’ consumers. As a result, businesses and institutions catering to them must adapt to meet these expectations, providing seamless, efficient, and swift experiences to satisfy their mindset. This generation's influence on industries is substantial, shaping the future of retail, technology, and more, as they continue to grow and assert their preferences in an increasingly digital and instantaneous world.
Generation Alpha is indeed set to change and shape the future and as they mature, their unique perspective and experiences will contribute to a world that values sustainability, innovation, equality, and digital fluency, ultimately leaving a lasting impact on society, technology, and the global economy.
It is essential for governments, institutions, and businesses to adapt to their values for a brighter future.