The events of 2020 reshaped the way we work, shop, and connect, creating what became known as the ‘new normal’. But the pace of change isn’t showing signs of slowing down. Instead, we’re already anticipating a post-pandemic world. With vaccine rollouts bringing fresh hope of recovery in 2021, it’s time to focus on the next normal.
For marketers, the challenge is knowing which trends born out of Covid-19 are actually here to stay and which ones were merely lockdown fads. Which technologies and behaviours will remain? How will shopping habits and engagement evolve in a vaccinated world? The best way to find out is by tuning in to the future – which means focusing on the younger generation.
Looking to Gen Z
Now accounting for 40% of global consumers and representing a spending power worth $1tn (together with millenials), Gen Zers are one of the most important and opportunistic audiences for marketers to reach. As the first generation of digital natives, they’re driving the shift toward e-commerce and setting a new example of today’s modern consumer for older, more traditional age groups.
It’s no surprise that, in the UK, it’s estimated that 54% of total e-commerce sales are expected to be made via mobile by 2021. During the pandemic, the smartphone became the most personal device in our lives. The average user spent more than four hours a day on their mobile phone. Shopping was a particular focus, with app revenue hitting a record $28bn through Q3 of 2020 – a trend largely driven by members of Gen Z.
Entering a new e-commerce era
National lockdowns led to the closure of many brick-and-mortar shops. As a result, the decline in offline shopping gave way to a hyper-accelerated digital transformation. Amid the disruption, AR-powered commerce found a new momentum. From virtual try-ons to placing products in selfies to bringing personalised experiences directly to the home, augmented reality is now allowing brands to better match the in-store experience and meet the needs of a younger audience, 63% of whom are interested in virtually trying on clothes.
Visual commerce is also supporting this new shopping experience, with brands creating video and 360º imagery to showcase their products in store and online. With 55% of all consumers viewing video content while shopping in physical stores, the line between digital and in-person shopping is becoming increasingly blurred.
Honing your marketing
Moving forward, targeting Gen Zers and millennials will be key for advertisers. As a platform that reaches more than 90% of 13- to 24-year-olds and hosts 265 million daily active users, Snapchat has an acute understanding of this demographic. For instance, when it comes to their purchasing decisions, Snapchatters find friends five-times more influential than celebrities or influencers and are more likely to buy from brands that support their local community.
By providing unique insights, Snapchat can support marketers in navigating not just the next consumer, but the next normal. To gain a deeper understanding, download our new report, The Next Normal, to uncover what role Snapcodes play in promoting seasonal campaigns, why vertical video content will form the future of marketing, and how you can best engage the Snapchat Generation – in 2021 and beyond.
Download The Next Normal here
 Cassandra, Generational Spend Research, Q1 2019.
 eMarketer, Retail mCommerce Sales in the UK, 2019–2024, May 2020.
 Sensor Tower, Global App Revenue Growth, Store Intelligence Data Digest, 2020.
 2020 Alter Agents study commissioned by Snap Inc. Question: “What types of products would you be interested in using AR Experiences to help you make purchase decisions?”
 Google, “Three Unexpected Ways Shoppers Turn to Video in the Store Aisle,” 2019.
 Snap Ads Manager internal data Q3 2020. Percentages calculated by dividing addressable reach by relevant census figures.
 Snap Inc. survey of GB Snapchat users June 23 - 27, 2020. Age and location data subject to restrictions.