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3 things logistics companies must do in the Gen-Z world

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Is the logistics industry ready for Generation Z?

That’s right: Just when you thought you had a handle on millennials, the next generation is entering adulthood and ready to shake things up. So who are these Gen-Zers, and what do they want?

The “who” is easy: Members of Generation Z were born between the late 1990s and 2010. That means that the oldest members of this cohort are graduating college and entering the workforce.

But what do they want? In a word, everything: equality, transparency, constant communication, work-life balance, social justice and more.

Generation Z won’t be satisfied with doing things the old way, and they won’t tolerate companies that don’t match their values. They are “the most confident, socially aware and entrepreneurial generation of our time.”

Shipping and logistics companies will have to change with this up-and-coming demographic if they hope to thrive. So what are we to do?

Here are three essential changes logistics companies need to make:

1. Demonstrate a social conscience

Don’t worry, big brands: Gen Z wants to work with you. But you’ll have to demonstrate you care about more than profit.

Start with the environment. Remember how angry millennials are that generations before them messed up the planet? Gen Z carries that same anger, and they often turn to social media to share their thoughts.

For Gen Z, doing well and doing good cannot be mutually exclusive. They will be looking for all shippers – land, air and sea – to find ways to be more ecologically sound. And the additional cost? Well, they’re just fine with paying a bit more if it helps the planet.

Everyone knows these broad-scale changes don’t happen overnight, so logistics companies need to start making adjustments now.

“Generation Z wants equality, transparency, constant communication, work-life balance, social justice and more.”

2. Give great service

Gen Z is anything but naïve, and they understand that most products are not unique: They can get the same thing somewhere else, and they have the entire internet to find it. To win the hearts of Generation Z, companies need to focus on the experience.

So what is Generation Z looking for?

  • Value. This demographic is willing to part with money, but they expect value. They do their research, and they expect the best.
  • Speed and ease. Don’t be fooled by reports that Gen Z has an eight-second attention span: They actually have an eight-second filter. They’re accustomed to sorting through vast amounts of information in record time, and they give you about eight seconds before moving on to something else. Clunky interfaces and long hold times will send Gen Z buyers to another vendor.
  • Constant communication. This group already expects communication on a regular basis. Services like UPS MyChoice® offer delivery alerts and consistent updates on the status of a package, an expectation — rather than a perk — for this demographic. Look for more companies to offer proactive email and text updates to keep up with Gen Z’s thirst for information.
  • Flexibility. According to SmartCompany, “Generation Z and millennials want deliveries to work for them, not the other way around — the challenge for business is to meet their demands for greater flexibility, including deliveries on weekends, the next day and after hours.” Gen Z is busy, and they want companies to proactively work with them.
“It’s easy to look down on ‘kids today,’ but these same kids will determine your company’s tomorrow.”

3. Prepare for accountability

As the most tech-savvy generation ever, Gen Z understands the power they wield in writing online reviews.

According to the new UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper, more than one-third of global consumers will post a negative review on a retailer’s website, while at least 20 percent will post a negative review on social media. And of course, people are much more likely to write negative reviews than positive.

In the years to come, smart companies will pay close attention to online reviews as the new generation takes them to another level. Online reputation management must become a central part of any company’s marketing strategy.

Before learning to work with the next generation, companies must master one important element: respect.

It’s easy to look down on “kids today,” but these same kids will determine your company’s tomorrow.

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