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Who is afraid of Gen Alpha?

Who are the children of the Millennials

Who is afraid of Gen Alpha? Who are the children of the Millennials

With Gen X we said goodbye to the radio, with the Millennials we discovered the Xbox, with Gen Z we said goodbye to Internet Explorer: the evolution of technology has such a strong impact on our daily lives that it has shaped entire generations, but, now that the alphabet is finished, what will the digital natives of the future be like? The expression Gen Alpha, coined in 2009 by sociologist Mark McCrindle in his book The ABC of XYZ, designates the generation born from 2010 onwards with the first letter of the Greek alphabet, drawing on scientific nomenclature. Coming into the world at a time of generally declining fertility rates, the latest wave of unborn children, although still largely pre-school age, is already very different from its predecessors. A generation attentive to diversity and self-representation is taking shape, looking to clothing for self-definition, as if in the age of hyper-capitalism the only way to define oneself is through objects. In a few years, they will enter the consumer world, shop with their own money and interact with brands according to their own criteria. So how should companies prepare today for the technological and social expectations of tomorrow's adults? Infobip, a global cloud communications company and leader in CPaaS solutions, in collaboration with BVA Doxa, carried out a study on the 'consumer of 2030', involving 405 young Italians divided into two age groups, 6-10 and 11-15. 

If on the one hand social networks and streaming services have implemented early learning, on the other hand they have lowered an already labile attention threshold. Between the ages of 6 and 15, 91% have already used a smartphone to connect to the Internet, 84% a smart TV, 77% laptops and tablets and 73% a video game console, while 48% of respondents said they use chatbots and voice assistants several times during the week. Simplicity, immediacy, instant gratification and personalisation are the key characteristics for a successful customer journey, needs that have already emerged with Gen Z that will reach a new level of complexity in the future. But will brands be able to adapt to the technology gap, to the ever-increasing pace that drives innovation? By 2030, the first members of the Alpha Generation will be adults and will begin to have direct interactions with companies and, as customers, will have high expectations in terms of the fluidity and simplicity of the shopping experience, seeking 'instant gratification'. «If a process, such as authentication, is not simple and intuitive in terms of customer experience, it is likely that the Alpha generation will avoid the service, switching to brands that offer a seamless experience - said Vittorio D'Alessio, Country Manager Italy at Infobip - these new customers want to interact with brands on their terms, not the brand's».

Not only simplicity, immediacy and satisfaction, personalisation will also play a key role, communications will have to be targeted, based on a meticulous analysis of personal data that trigger contextual experiences within the customer journey. For example, if customers like to search for shoes on their mobile phones, they will expect to be sent offers via email, SMS or WhatsApp with relevant product suggestions and promotions. Companies should therefore leverage data on customer behaviour and sentiment to personalise messaging, content type and timing. A multi-channel approach implemented by AI technology is essential for more flexible and comprehensive interactions. «Digitisation is at the heart of the transformation that companies must undergo in order to better serve the customers of the future. The year 2030 is closer than you might think» concluded D'Alessio. If change is needed, it is enough to change the rules.

A growing need for individualism and personalisation profiles a generation more comfortable interfacing with technology than with humans. Indeed, one-child families have gained ground: today 18% of women at the end of childbearing age have an only child, up from 10% in 1976, and as such members of the Alpha Generation are more likely to grow up selfish and expect instant gratification. Some predict that the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will become the defining event of this generation, exacerbating relationship difficulties. Being born at a time in history when human contact was forbidden already conceals within itself the seed of contradiction and opens the way to a series of complications that only time will reveal, but one thing we can ask: in which direction is humanity heading? More importantly, who controls the course?