The generation born with a mouse in its hands has become a prime target of online retailers.
Generation Zers — those born between 1992 and 2010 — are unlike any other generation when it comes to how they use media, said Kathy Savitt, founder and chief executive officer of Lockerz.com, a website tailored to the 13- to 30-year-old crowd. This includes both generations Y and Z.
"This group is already watching more content on computers or alternative devices than on the TV set," Savitt said. "They are watching ‘The Office’ alongside of ‘Scarlet Takes a Tumble’ on YouTube. They don’t care where it (the video) comes from. They are curating all of their content and it’s having a profound impact on the media industry."
Savitt said the oldest Zs are 18, and that Lockerz will always go after the 13-to-30 crowd. Learning from them is a vital to the company, she said.
"The creative director that came up with the look of the site was 22 at the time," she said. "Of our 58 employees, eight are ‘member experience gurus,’ or ‘MEGs,’ all between 18 and 25.
"They answer all of the contacts and do a daily report. They have the pulse of what people are hearing, seeing and doing."
Lockerz is a year old and has 17 million members in 195 countries. Most members are in the United States, but Savitt said Western Europe, Brazil and Australia also have big audiences. About 300 members serve on the Lockerz advisory board, or "LAB." They test features before they are released to the general membership.
Discounted shopping attracts users to Lockerz. The site shows the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for everything, but Savitt said almost nobody pays full retail.
Members accumulate points, called "PTZ," by watching videos, listening to music, answering questions, recruiting friends and buying stuff. The more PTZ earned, the bigger the discount.
"We’ve taught a generation they are really a silly person if they pay full retail," Savitt said. "When I was a teenager or college kid, things cost what they cost. I had two options, whine to my parents, which didn’t work, or work harder at my part-time job. We’re offering a third rail ."
She used an example of a men’s shirt with a full price of $89. Applying 350 PTZ to the purchase cut the price to $41. Making that purchase earns another 836 PTZ. Discounts are greater for high-margin items like clothing and jewelry and lower for low-margin items like electronics.
Savitt said the next generation has already been named.
"I haven’t started studying Generation Alpha yet because they’re still in diapers," she said. "It’s on my to-do list in the next five years."
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