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Generation Z will be the biggest challenge in your supply chain

Generation Z is the next generation to enter the market soon. A generation, also known as Generation I, who grew up completely with the Internet and mobile applications. They have no knowledge of the pre-internet era. Their expectations will be even more demanding when it comes to convenience, control, cost and choice.

This generation covers approximately 2.5 billion consumers worldwide with an expected purchasing power of nearly 100 billion euros. By 2020, this generation will realize about 40 percent of all online consumer purchases. As a 3PL you better be prepared for that. Below are the five main points that your supply chain must meet.

Omnichannel fulfillment

Generation Z shoppers buy more of their smartphones than any other generation. But they also enjoy shopping in malls and picking up items in stores. They also expect same-day, home, work, or school delivery. For this new shopper, there is no distinction in how and where they shop, but the expectation of a seamless experience.

Optimized e-commerce sites

3PL warehouses must ensure that their mobile sites are lightning fast and easy to navigate. Making your inventory fully real-time transparent is essential. If loading a mobile site takes more than 3 seconds, 53 percent of generation Z will switch. Tomorrow’s warehouses need to partner with WMS suppliers who provide a platform with full API integration.


The current 3PLs must keep full insight into the buying process. From the moment the customer checks the availability of a product, until the moment it is delivered. For many 3PLs, this starts with offering inventory availability, automatic email notifications about the progress of the buying process, and a permission-based web portal for customers.

Superior customer experience

Generation Z consumers expect to be treated as “royalties”. This not only requires insight into the wishes and requirements of customers. Also the right tools to keep in touch with customers. These could be:
* Chatbots;
* 24/7 access to live, qualified representatives;
* Accessible through multiple channels from email to social media;
* Clear FAQ page;
* Easy to find support in case of problems;
* Respect privacy!

Remember that if you build a good relationship with your customers, they will not only come back but also grow with you and vice versa.

Seamless product returns

Returned items are still a major concern for e-commerce retailers. But it is going to be even more challenging. While it is estimated that only 4 percent of Gen Z will return more than 75 percent of their purchased items, this is 3 times higher than other purchasing generations. An efficient system should not only handle returns easily, but also be distinctive. You can do this by:
• pre-printed, easy-to-follow labels and instructions on each package;
• extra tailor-made collection and exchange options;
• a hassle-free WMS to automatically update the inventory;
• maximum online service and support;
• use easily reusable packaging.