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Convenience... At what cost?

Download: GEN Z: EMERGING TALENT Full report

According to researchers, Gen Z's connection to the digital world is 'so ubiquitous and seamless that the digital experience is their human experience.’1

This generation has embraced the opportunities created by mobile technology. So much so, 60% of respondents to a survey in the USA say they would rather lose their wallet than their mobile phone.2

This has serious implications for the way young people receive and consume information. More than three-quarters of respondents to this same survey said they prefer ads customised to their current activity, or to their location. And almost all (95%) American and UK representatives questioned make in-store purchases based on ads they’ve seen on their mobile devices. In addition, 42% will engage with an ad when their data is used correctly to provide them with creative experiences.

Our research, however, suggests people are less sure about sharing their data. For example, slightly more
Gen Z respondents (45%) said they would be ‘very unlikely’ to give up their personal details in exchange for better transport information to create a more a seamless journey, than they would be to share it (43%). Millennials were a little bit more likely (47%) to share their data.

graphic showing attitudes to data privacy and advertising. 34% of UK consumers and 72% of US consumers agreed brands should use anonymous data to show more relevant & interesting ads

Source: Loop Me Survey, December 2017 – US consumers think their personal data is worth only $244 per year


In the competitive global market, brands are increasingly concerned about enhancing their customers’ experience. Technology enables them to interact with potential and existing buyers on a new level, for example, by learning their preferences and suggesting products and services that may appeal to them. But to benefit from this relationship, people must provide something in return.

A study of more than 1,000 people in the USA found members of Gen Z are comfortable sharing their data to receive a more personalised service.3 In fact, half of the respondents said they would stop visiting a website if it didn’t anticipate their needs.

Other generations didn’t agree. The survey found Millennials and Gen Z were over 25% more likely than Gen X and Baby Boomers to favour a predictive internet. That’s not to say they don’t value security. Our own research found there is a clear concern across generations in the UK, USA and Canada regarding cyber security. Millennials show more of a tendency to take measures to protect themselves online, whether that is with different passwords or privacy settings.

 graphic stating, the value of european consumers personal data to grow to nearly one trillion euros annually by 2020

Source: The European Commission 2016

1, 3. WP Engine – The Future of Digital Experiences: How Gen Z is Changing Everything, December 2016
2. VERVEs research, September 2016 – Mobile Prodigies™: Milliennials and Gen Z