Gen Z is the new generation of consumers everyone wants to attract. These shoppers were born between 1997-2012 and have an aggregate buying power of 143 Billion. This number will only grow as more people finish school and enter the workforce.
Gen Z is disrupting the marketing landscape. Gen Z is different from previous generations in that they shop differently, spend differently and care about different things. At the recent AWIE Online conference, Carmel Zein (Senior Marketing Manager at Yotpo) spoke to three Gen Z experts on the opportunities and challenges of capturing this next generation of shoppers. Alyssa Tom, eCommerce Manager at Aje, Kim Zorn (Global Performance Director at Princess Polly), Kate Massey (Head of APAC at Searchspring ) and Alyssa Zornaje Searchspring . These are their insights.
What makes Gen Z so special?
They are diverse and well-educated
Kim says that Gen Zers are “the most diverse and educated generation.” data from Pew Research Center shows that only 52% are non-Hispanic white. This is significantly lower than the 61% of Millennials and 70% of Gen Xers. They are also less likely to drop out from high school and are more likely to enroll in college than the previous generations.
They are digital natives
Gen Z is the first generation that has access to the internet 24/7. However, just because they are tech-savvy and connected 24/7 doesn’t make them easier to get in touch with. They are able to identify what they enjoy and what they need to do in order to find content that is tailored to them.
Kate says, “One of my favorite things is that they are so savvy, they are training algorithms to show more content to them through liking, commenting and sharing content that interests them.”
They are very caring
When we all were talking about Millennials, “Brand values” became a popular term. But it’s even more relevant when discussing Gen Z. Yotpo’s State of Brand Loyalty2022 survey found that Gen Z shoppers are more likely to stick with brands whose values align with them.
Alyssa says, “They’re really the generation that wants to make a difference.” “And that’s something I find quite clear, and they are determined to use what little power they have to improve the world in which we live. Aje has learned that customers need more than just a product. They want to know what we’re doing as a company to make a difference.
Marketing to Gen Z: Expert tips
Mobile-first eCommerce: Make your eCommerce strategy mobile-first
Gen Z is online 24/7, most often on a mobile phone. While mobile-friendly was once enough for eCommerce companies, it is now essential to reach younger consumers by being mobile-first.
Alyssa says, “As an eComm manager, my greatest focus is really ensuring our mobile site is seamless.” “Gen Z customers are known for shopping on multiple platforms and devices. Make sure the customer has the same experience from Instagram to TikTok to the website.
A mobile strategy that is also effective is to think about your entire SMS strategy. This includes not just repeating communications you send via email or other channels. You can use SMS to communicate limited-time promotions, transactional information, loyalty program updates, exclusive offers, and other important messages.
Kim says that SMS can be abused in many ways, but SMS is for them one of the most powerful channels they have. Our text club is like an exclusive club. You won’t find them on the page, so they always receive special offers. Personalization is also important. If we have their name in the SMS, we always include it. We also use SMS-specific discount code. We use codes such as SMSVIP25 and SMS25 to get a 25% discount.
Attract their FOMO
Gen Z shoppers won’t miss out on any deal or experience. Marketing with urgency is a great way to grab their attention. Wearable blanket brand The Oodie is an example of a brand that excels at this.
They really care about capturing trends and holidays with new product drops. Kate says that they don’t just do product drops, they also do limited-edition product drops. “So they create scarcity and fear of missing out, so they also have FOMO (fear of missing out),
Rethink your influencer strategy
Gen Z isn’t the same as Gen X. There was a time when a Kardashian would promote your product. Gen Z wants to visualize how products will fit in their lives.
Kate says, “It’s all about authenticity and connecting with relevant influencers who are in perfect alignment with the brand and can be connected to by the audience.”
Personalize your customer journey
Gen Z is a generation that has grown up with algorithms and expects personalized customer experiences. If you want Gen Z customers to become loyal brand advocates, it’s crucial to create a memorable experience from beginning to end.
Kim says, “We do a lot of personalization.” Kim says, “We customize content for certain platforms, use native ads in order to engage our customers, and make it as engaging and interesting as possible.”
Defining your brand values and backing them up with action is key.
Gen Z wants to know the values of your brand. The answer will have a big impact on their interest in what you sell. If you want them to purchase, it is not enough to say the right words. Your brand must live your values. This could be by partnering with a non-profit, donating a percentage of sales, or planting trees with every order. Boody, a sustainable clothing brand, is an example of a company that does this well.
Kate says, “Their messaging has been so consistent Boody.” It doesn’t matter where they are or how you interact with them. It’s hard to not fall in love with their brand. This is evident at every touchpoint. They communicate their brand values and their positive impact on the environment, right through to the recent announcement of a partnership with Jane Goodall, a world-renowned environmentalist. This is not the traditional influencer.
Gen Z is the generation that makes brands more successful
Gen Z is more demanding than previous generations, but they are demanding authenticity, making a difference and providing a better customer experience. This is something that all brands should aim for. If your brand is a favourite of this generation like Princess Polly and The Oodie or Boody, then it’s a sign you’re doing something right. Do many things right.