20 October 2021
Why Gen Z loves online communication
Gen Z has fallen in love with online communication. Discover how implementing chat on your website can attract their business in this in-depth post.
The way humans communicate is changing. In the past, the majority of interactions occurred vocally, either in person, or over the phone. But with the advent of Gen Z’s love affair with real-time texting, that’s no longer the case.
According to a research group at a cloud mobile and online business messaging solutions firm, Gen Z and Millennials are now more likely to communicate digitally than in-person. The revelations confirm what many already expected: those aged under 35 are hooked on their digital devices.
The study investigated the communication habits of more than 4,000 young people across multiple countries, including Germany, Australia, Japan, and France, plus older people over the age of 35 in the US as a benchmark. Investigators found that around 61 percent of people aged 18 to 34 would prefer to leave their wallets at home instead of their phones and that 65 percent of Gen Z and Millennials communicate more with each other digitally than in person. The majority - more than 70 percent - go to sleep with their phones in arm’s reach and immediately check them if they wake up during the night.
This explosion in digital communication isn’t limited to interpersonal communication. It is also forcing organisations to change how they interact with their audiences. For instance, data shows that university chats increase by 30 percent during application periods and clearing. Furthermore, Millennials and Gen Z report that they expect “digital conveniences” in all aspects of their lives. If they don’t get the required level of convenience from brands, they will walk away from a sale. The business implications are profound.
Top Reasons Why Gen Z Love Online Communication
Here are some of the reasons Gen Z love communicating digitally:
Smartphones Have Become An Extension Of Their Bodies
Futurists such as Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurweil realised many years ago that mobile phones would eventually become “brain extenders.” Even in those early days, they saw how these devices could enhance a person’s cognition.
In 2021, their vision is now the norm. Data suggest that 65 percent of Gen Z and Millennials take their phones with them to the bathroom. A further 52 percent say that they regularly check their phones in the middle of the night. Two fifths say that it is perfectly acceptable for them to check their phones during family dinners.
Digital Communication Offers Convenience
Gen Z are also attracted to digital communication because of the sheer level of convenience that it offers. As a generation, they are accustomed to instant gratification - getting what they want from the digital realm immediately. 73 percent of Millennials, for instance, say that they will give up on a brand if it doesn’t provide them with answers in 10 minutes or less. And a further two out of five say that they will switch to a different brand after just five minutes. Digital communication tools allow them to contact relevant parties quickly instead of having to wait in a call centre queue.
Online Texting Is Less Stressful
Many young people find the prospect of a regular voice call stressful on a psychological level, which is another reason they are so keen to seek out digital channels. All the way back in 2014, texting had become more common among people under the age of 50 than calling. And now that process has accelerated to the point where the vast majority of all digital communication is in written form.
This transition from voice to text is happening for a range of psychological reasons, but they mainly relate to stress. Texting is easier for a number of reasons:
- The person on the other end can’t hear your tone of voice
- You don’t have to keep the conversation going and fill pauses
- You can do other things while you text to maximise your time
- You don’t have to worry about background noises or poor reception
- You get time to think about your answers
These luxuries are not available on voice calls.
Gen Z’s Digital Communication Requirements
Given that Gen Z loves digital communication, businesses should do their best to address their needs. In 2021, financial experts estimated that members of Gen Z have a combined spending power of $143 billion (£105 billion) and comprise around 40 percent of all transactions, so ignoring them is no longer an option.
So what do Gen Z expect from communication with you?
Openness is a top of Gen Z requirement. With the rise of “cancel culture,” brands are at more risk from their audiences than ever before. Companies that don’t align their philosophies with the views of younger customers are at high risk of being boycotted or shut down.
How do you make your communication more open? Simple: fact-check everything that you say and align your values with those of your audience.
Millennials and Gen Z also want you to offer them mobile-friendly experiences. 75 percent of users in this audience spend more than 4 hours and 15 minutes on their smartphones every day. That’s because they are used to high-quality services. Brands that don’t offer them can expect audience members to abandon their purchases.
Millennials and Gen Z also want you to communicate with them in a more personal way. They are exceptionally cynical about brands that just want their money. They want firms that address them by their names and take time to discover their needs.
To gain Gen Z loyalty via digital channels, offer chat on your website. This way, you can interact with them personally and in a way that feels comfortable and convenient.
Social Media Presence
Brands also need to reach out via social media. Facebook has nearly 3 billion users, many of them in the Gen Z demographic. Up-and-coming platforms, such as TikTok, are particularly popular among the younger generation, so having a presence on these can connect you quickly to this audience.
Gen Z loves online communication because it is convenient and offers psychological benefits. Smartphones are no longer tools, but extensions of the body, and the data concerning communication patterns reflects that. The message for businesses is clear: prioritise your online communication channels.