While many brands and retailers are focusing on engaging Gen Z, Gen Alpha is slowly creeping into the picture.
Gen Alpha — consumers born after 2010 — have grown up immersed in technology. They are truly digitally omnipresent, using smartphones, social networks, gaming platforms and the metaverse to connect with each other and express their individuality. Although they are extremely tech-driven, they also want to engage with brands that are authentic, personal and ethical, according to the Association of National Advertisers.
By the end of 2024, there will be more than two billion people worldwide classified as Generation Alpha, and they’re already acquiring more spending power: nearly 90% of U.S. families say their children under 12 influence family purchasing decisions, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s why retailers like Kids Foot Locker are embracing the convergence of community and technology to effectively reach Gen Alpha consumers. During a recent episode of Experience Insiders, Jill Feldman, VP and General Manager of Kids Foot Locker, shared how the retailer is shaping its strategy to align with new consumer behaviors and preferences, especially for the back-to-school season.
Key takeaways from the discussion include:
Gen Alpha consumers want to express themselves — and their parents want to empower them to do so: Gen Alpha turns to social media and the metaverse to express their true selves. Kids Foot Locker aims to create opportunities for them to do just that through metaverse experiences and even through TikTok campaigns. Even in-store, Kids Foot Locker creates elements of the experience that give younger consumers the room to explore, get inspired and express themselves, which is something their parents highly treasure.
They want to always be in tune with what’s trending: Their parents may want to capitalize on timely deals and sales, but Gen Alpha wants what’s trending right now. That’s why Feldman expects that shopping for apparel and footwear will extend into the start of the school year. As a result, Foot Locker will create content and campaigns for an extended period.
Associates are under-tapped, especially on digital channels: Kids Foot Locker associates (known as ‘Stripers’) encapsulate the brand and its consumers. That’s why Stripers play a key role in creating content for social channels and supporting consumers in stores. Feldman noted that they will play a key role in the retailer’s experience strategies moving forward.
Stores should lean into community and connectivity: Kids Foot Locker’s “Play” concept is designed to bring entertainment and community to stores, and the retailer plans to open more of these locations in the future. However, Feldman said that all stores (including both redesigns and new openings) will lean into omnichannel activation and will be developed to put play at the center of their customer experiences.