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Businesses Must Plan For Gen Alpha Now – Here’s How

By Kawal Preet | February 13, 2024

A landmark generation is waiting in the wings, with the scale and influence to dramatically impact our world. Businesses and leaders: start preparing today for the generation of tomorrow.

Millennials; Gen Z; Gen Alpha: if you haven’t heard of this new gen yet, that’s probably because they’re still just kids. The children of millennials, this young demographic is already being hailed as a ‘landmark’ generation. As it stands, the size and influence of Gen Alpha, or Gen A, means they’ll have an immense, long-lasting impact on society, the economy, and the future of our planet.
With businesses already sizing up Gen Alpha’s habits, preferences and what makes them tick, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an eye on long-term growth need to start factoring this crucial demographic into their future plans.

Understanding Gen Alpha and what makes them tick


Yes, they’re still reaching maturity – the eldest are 14 and the youngest just born – but many predictions have already been made about the generation who will succeed Gen Z. These ‘mini-millennials’ are unique in that they are entirely tech-immersed, with zero opportunity to remember a time before technology governed all aspects of our daily lives.
Male-and-female-Asian-teen-play-on-ipad-tablets

Gen Alpha will number almost 2 billion by 2025, and are likely to start making their purchasing power known by 2030. Given the size of mega-markets in Asia such as China, India and Indonesia, it’s going to be crucial for APAC businesses to prepare for Gen Alpha.
"Being digitally native means that Gen Alpha have surfed the wave of fast-moving e-commerce optimization without even realizing it."

Businesses getting ready to map strategies for what is soon to be their primary consumer group need to start engaging with them now. So what is the best way to start preparing for the arrival of Generation Alpha: tomorrow’s consumers, communities and workforce?
"Being digitally native means that Gen Alpha have surfed the wave of fast-moving e-commerce optimization without even realizing it."

5 ways your business can prepare for Gen Alpha

1. Small businesses need to gear up for what Gen Alpha entering the workforce will look like – with mental health at the top of the agenda


Factors such as exposure to social media from a very early age, constant screen time, and spending formative developmental years under COVID-19 lockdown have led many to predict that this generation will suffer from mental health strains.
This is almost sure to impact the way they work and interact professionally. From attracting to retaining talent, ensuring your workplace is primed for the workforce of the future is critical.
How you can prepare now: Strengthen your workplace wellness initiatives and the support options available to employees. Engage in regular, cyclical engagement surveys and feedback sessions to gauge employee concerns on a real-time basis. That way, you’ll gradually be kept up to speed with what the youngest people entering the workforce need.

2. Sustainability will be at the center of Gen Alpha’s lives – perhaps their most important preoccupation


As the climate crisis deepens, societal concerns about the future of the planet have snowballed with every new generation. Attitudes from millennials to Gen Z already show a dramatic intensity gap, and the uptake from Gen Z to Gen Alpha is set to be just as steep.
Hyper-environmentally conscious, Gen Alpha will hold brands and businesses to account, and have access to the data and information required to call companies out on their commitments.
Hand-plants-sapling-in-soil

With the state of the planet, there is urgency to take action on sustainability. Transform business practices to make operations as environmentally responsible as possible, as soon as possible.
This will not only have a positive impact on the environment. Decisive action will also stand any business in good stead for future stakeholder trust and loyalty, from customers to employees.
How you can prepare now: Remove barriers to change or delay. Engage in an ESG audit of your business to find out how you can implement sustainable actions and policies right away. And create space for employees to weigh in – it’s today’s millennial and Gen Z workforce who are raising and mentoring Gen Alpha.

3. DEI is central to how Gen Alpha sees the world – make sure your business is all-in

"Gen Alpha are going to be even more committed to DEI than their predecessors."


Just like mental health and sustainability, Gen Alpha are going to be even more committed to DEI than their predecessors. Expect them to hold businesses and brands accountable for 100% authentic DEI practices.
"Gen Alpha are going to be even more committed to DEI than their predecessors."

The foundation is already being laid. Based on the DEI-led activism and awareness already in place globally, tomorrow’s workforce will be more diverse than ever, with representation and opportunities that previous generations didn’t have access to. But there will always be more to do.
How you can prepare now: Don’t wait to invest in training, research, and an overhaul of current DEI policies. You can also pull in experts to consult on DEI in your workplace to help shape an environment where everyone is included and championed.

4. Customer experience and seamless, frictionless purchases are a non-negotiable for Gen Alpha


Being digitally native means that Gen Alpha have surfed the wave of fast-moving e-commerce optimization without even realizing it. When it comes to buying anything – and it’ll be online – they are used to 24/7 exposure to social commerce, live commerce, augmented reality, virtual reality and everything that comes next. Purchase decisions will be made based on sophisticated algorithmic targeting, social platform trends and influencers – and the ability to buy in one click.
Hand-holding-mobile-phone-makes-online-shopping-purchase

How you can prepare now: It’s essential to get this mega-demographic right if you want to sell to them. If you’re an e-commerce business, stay ahead of e-commerce innovation. Making sure you’re at the vanguard of how the most connected consumers are shopping is key.
At FedEx, we’re getting ready to launch fdx, the first data-driven commerce platform to connect the entire customer journey coming later in 2024. Helping to create a more frictionless experience, this platform will make it easier for businesses to grow demand, increase conversion, optimize fulfillment, and streamline returns.

5. AI might be a brave new world to most – but to Gen Alpha, it’ll be as natural as breathing

"Gen Alpha will be raised by AI."


Gen X, millennials, even Gen Z – we’re all getting to grips with AI and what it means for just about every facet of our personal and professional lives. But Gen Alpha will be raised by AI . Most won’t be able to remember a time without it. What does this mean for businesses?
"Gen Alpha will be raised by AI."

First, the way people work is going to fundamentally change. Traditional roles and functions will still exist, but the day-to-day of how responsibilities are fulfilled are likely to change enormously.
This has a bearing on absolutely everything from recruitment and job scopes to AI tool adoption. More broadly, AI will have a role to play in countless everyday lifestyle decisions, from how to decorate your apartment to your next car.
Gen Alpha will have more tools and insights to make choices as consumers - but time will tell whether this will make them better or worse at deciding how to fill their time and spend their money.
How you can prepare now: Businesses can get ahead by putting in serious groundwork now, while AI is in its infancy. This is the time to research, test, consult and apply critical thinking to your AI strategy going forward - human brains are still better than AI ones! The more you understand the AI universe, the easier it will be to determine the right pathway to adoption.

Gen Alpha are waiting in the wings – are you ready to support them?


Right now, Gen Alpha are just kids. Many are not even born. Soon, they’ll face extraordinary and unprecedented environmental factors that will shape them indefinitely.
The more we understand who they are and the uniqueness of this 100% digital generation, the better we can help them to make their way in the world.
For more advice on factors impacting the future of your small business, head to our Small Business Center now.
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About the Author
the author bio

Kawal Preet

President,
Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, FedEx Express

Kawal started out as a FedEx engineer in Singapore over 26 years ago, and she’s now the President of FedEx Express AMEA. Kawal is based in Hong Kong.

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