More shoppers are using buy now, pay later services when grocery shopping. There’s a running joke on the internet about the high cost of eggs and record food prices in general. But the joke is also a difficult reality for young shoppers. According to data from Adobe, “in the first two months of this year, the share of [BNPL] orders for groceries increased 40% over the year-earlier period.” YPulse’s recent Food Shopping and Trends report data shows that 70% of Gen Z and Millennials are buying their groceries online and over a quarter who have say they’ve used a BNPL service to do so. (AdAge)
TikTok’s “shoppertainment” sales model is not good for Gen Z’s wallets.
TikTok’s “shoppertainment” sales model is not good for Gen Z’s wallets. The official TikTok for Business webpage refers to the app’s “shoppertainment” content as “an infinite loop”—and young shoppers are finding it hard to escape. We know TikTok’s algorithm is designed to provide personalized entertaining content that keeps users on the app and recently, the app’s sales pitch to brands is promising that users will not only be more inclined to make purchases, they’ll also be returning customers. TikTok’s own What’s Next report even found that 67% of users say the app “inspired them to shop even when they weren't looking to do so.” Plus, the tech giant’s “global ad revenue soared from $4bn in 2021 to over $11.6bn last year and it made $205m more from in-app purchases than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram combined.” That being said, there’s been some pushback from young users who are going into debt because of this. YPulse research shows that TikTok is the number one place Gen Z sees ads that make them want to buy—and the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt proves their favorite app is also a place they enjoy sharing their finds. (The Guardian)
The majority of marketers are still planning to spend on TikTok despite threats of a ban.
The majority of marketers are still planning to spend on TikTok despite threats of a ban. According to a Capterra survey of 300 marketers at businesses in the U.S., 75% of marketers “expect to increase spending on TikTok in the next 12 months.” The vast majority (87%) still believe TikTok is a viable platform for their long-term marketing strategies and over half “believe it is highly or somewhat unlikely that the federal government will ban TikTok or prevent it from operating in the U.S.” Although, these marketers do acknowledge that a “ban would have a moderate to significant impact on achieving social media marketing or advertising objectives.” And if a ban actually takes place, marketers will be expecting Meta, YouTube, and Snapchat to see a “spike in revenue.” After all, young people told YPulse Instagram is the top platform they’d flock to if TikTok were to go away. (Marketing Dive)
Instagram is bringing ads to the app’s search results and launching “reminder ads.”
Instagram is bringing ads to the app’s search results and launching “reminder ads.” Meta is introducing new tools designed to facilitate better advertising on Instagram as the app struggles with a “weak advertising demand.” The first update involves the ability to see ads related to users’ searches. For example, when searching “skin care” on the app, relevant ads will pop up among the feed results. Luckily for users, these ads will stand out among regular content with the “Sponsored” label under the account name. Instagram is also adding “reminder ads” that are “designed to make it easier for businesses to announce, remind and notify people of future events or launches that they may be interested in.” This will help brands bring awareness to upcoming events and launches by alerting users with a reminder “one day before the event or launch, 15 minutes before and at the time of the event or launch.” YPulse data shows that more than half (52%) of young people say they want to see content from brands / products on Instagram. (TechCrunch)
TikTok’s organizational aesthetic “pantry porn” is a must have for young consumers.
TikTok’s organizational aesthetic “pantry porn” is a must have for young consumers. Aesthetics are important to Gen Z and Millennials—and they’re particularly interested in organizational methods that fit in with their style on social media. TikTok’s #CleanTok is a viral subculture that promotes this type of content, but its affinity for hyper organized and elaborate pantry designs are becoming mainstream. These videos of perfectly stocked shelves make it seem no longer acceptable for food to simply be placed in pantries, instead packaged items are put in more eye-pleasing sophisticated glass jars and wicker baskets with printed labels. While the content is often criticized for its wasteful nature, "pantry porn” is popular for its “mashup of infotainment, how-to, lifestyle content, and ASMR” videos that show creators restocking their items. Basically, these gens think excess is bad, but organized and aesthetically pleasing excess is okay—and having an organized celebrity-worthy pantry is now a status symbol. (Fast Company)
Google’s own artificial intelligence chatbot is being tested by a limited number of people in the U.S. and Britain.
Google’s own artificial intelligence chatbot is being tested by a limited number of people in the U.S. and Britain. As AI tech continues to be all the rage for brands, tech giants have been working to create their own versions to compete with the success of Open AI’s ChatGPT. Google’s new AI system “Bard” is being presented as a chatbot that recognizes its flaws. While it functions similarly to other chatbots, Google “Bard” has been trained by a vast array of both literary classics and modern bestsellers to evaluate users’ quality of writing. The system can be used by any level of writer to help improve their skills by providing feedback and suggestions when it comes to pacing, tone, and clarity. While the tech is still in its infancy, it “uses more caution than ChatGPT,” but ultimately only time will tell which platform Gen Z and Millennials will favor more. (NYT)
A growing number of students are choosing apprenticeships over college.
A growing number of students are choosing apprenticeships over college. YPulse found that two in five Gen Z agree with the statement, “The pandemic has made me less interested in pursuing higher education” and, as a result, college enrollment is down across the country. According to federal data, “college enrollment has declined by about 15%, while the number of apprentices has increased by more than 50%” in the last decade. High school seniors are revisiting their options “after the pandemic prompted a historic disengagement from school.” The nation is witnessing an accelerated shift away from the “‘college-for-all' model toward a choice of either college or vocational programs—including apprenticeships.” Plus, these programs are becoming more accessible and interesting to Gen Z as a variety of organizations are participating. For example, construction was traditionally the main trade outside of college, but now businesses like McDonald’s Corp., Accenture PLC, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are creating banking, cybersecurity, and consulting apprenticeships. (WSJ)
TikTok is showing users how it “sparks good” on the app.
TikTok is showing users how it “sparks good” on the app. As part of TikTok’s ongoing efforts to put the app in a positive light, they’re releasing a new web series on their official profile as well as on other social media platforms like YouTube. "TikTok Sparks,” which first premiered this week, is a documentary style web series that showcases success stories of small businesses and creators who made it on the platform. The series aims to inspire other entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses on TikTok. The first two videos “center on small business owners who have used TikTok to advance their careers.” The effort is mainly serving as a counter to the potential ban and claims being made in government that the Gen Z-loved app is a “dangerous source of Chinese disinformation campaigns.” (Tubefilter)
Customers will soon be able to pay with their palm at Panera Bread.
Customers will soon be able to pay with their palm at Panera Bread. The food chain is partnering with Amazon to test out a new payment system that uses Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” tech. Customers are able to link their credit card info to their Amazon account and then scan their palm to pay for their purchases thanks to biometric tech that identifies individual customers and automatically charges their account. While the palm scanning tech isn’t entirely new (Whole Foods customers were able to pay with their palms last year), it’s certainly new for Panera Bread. The pilot program will kick off in Panera’s hometown St. Louis, but they’re making plans to expand in the future if the new payment system proves to be successful. YPulse’s The Privacy Issue trend report shows 37% of Gen Z and Millennials are already familiar with face scanning password tech and 47% use fingerprint password tech. (Mashable)
Nutter Butter won over Gen Z with an absurdist marketing strategy—and doubled their followers on social media.
Nutter Butter won over Gen Z with an absurdist marketing strategy—and doubled their followers on social media. In a partnership with Dentsu Creative, the peanut butter cookie brand successfully captured Gen Z’s attention on Instagram through bizarre content featuring Nutter Butter cults and conspiracy theories, creating a sense of intrigue and chaotic humor—which we know Gen Z loves. The brand also collaborated with popular meme accounts to promote their content, which led to a major increase in engagement and followers on their official Instagram account. By embracing the absurdist, quirky humor of Gen Z, Nutter Butter’s strategy contributed to a 12% increase in sales. YPulse data shows 76% of young consumers say brands should make ads that fit in with what’s in their feed and memes in particular are the type of content Gen Z wants to see on Instagram the most. (Adweek)
ESPN and Disney broadcasted a kid-focused NHL game with animated sports commenters—and families tuned in.
ESPN and Disney broadcasted a kid-focused NHL game with animated sports commenters—and families tuned in. To reel in kid viewership, the ESPN’s Big City Greens NHL Classic game featuring the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals was the first-ever fully animated game telecast of its kind. During the game, animated versions of ESPN commentators Kevin Weekes and Drew Carter appeared as avatar-esque cartoons where they included “live interviews with characters from Disney’s Emmy Award-winning animated series using live facial-capture technology.” The simulcast took place last week on Disney Channel and Disney XD and “ESPN confirmed that 765,000 viewers watched the game.” Of those viewers, the average ages across both channels were 12-14-years-old and over half of viewers were female. (Sports Video)
To help parents go back to work, the U.K. is expanding their free childcare.
To help parents go back to work, the U.K. is expanding their free childcare. The effort is set to cover all children under five-years-old and make childcare free for working parents in England by 2025. The process will occur over three stages starting with “parents of two-year-olds [getting] 15 hours of free childcare per week from April 2024, children between nine months and two years old will get 15 hours of free childcare from September 2024, [and] all eligible under-5s will get 30 hours of free childcare from September 2025.” Ultimately the U.K. government’s plan is to boost economic growth since the rising cost of childcare has been a set back for parents to go back to work or work full time. YPulse’s research shows that 75% of Millennial parents in the U.K. say they underestimated how much it costs to raise children, a number significantly higher than other European countries. (BBC)