For years now, millennials have received a lot of attention from the media. Their interest in minimalist lifestyles and habit of investing in experiences rather than objects required many marketers to pivot their tale-as-old-as-time strategies. Millennials have a reputation for lacking interest in material items and leaning more towards bargains and opportunities to get the most for their money. This resulted in a plethora of unique advertising techniques such as micro-influencers and enhanced customer service efforts.
But as millennials are maturing, brands of all kinds are slowly turning their attention towards Generation Z. This generation of youth, born during the mid-1990s and mid-2000s, has shown distinct differences from millennials.
But what is it that makes Gen Z so appealing to brands these days?
Why Gen Z?
Generation Z has shopping habits that vary quite a bit from the previous generation. On average, Gen Z spends money more freely than Gen Y. They are also more likely to pay for a designer brand than millennials are. Here are just a few of the reasons Gen Z has become a valuable target demographic.
- This generation of post-millennials is currently contributing around $830 billion to U.S. retail sales each year.
- Unlike millennials, they show an increased interest in designer products. Sources have speculated that this may be a result of Gen Z not remembering the 2008 recession with as much clarity as millennials do.
- Gen Z is 12% less likely to compare prices than the slightly more price-conscious millennial generation.
- There are roughly 60 million members of Gen Z in the US. This is one million more people than are in the millennial generation.
With the Gen Z population ranging in age from teenagers to their mid-twenties, this demographic will continue to consume a larger portion of the retail pie each year.
What Drives Gen Z to Convert?
Gen Z is unique from every previous generation in the fact that they do not remember a world without the internet. They were born into a digital world and for the most part, they are always connected. With smartphones in hand, they convert to brands and purchases online twice as much as other generations.
So what exactly motivates them to make a purchase? A good cause. More than half of Gen Z seeks out brands that have proven they are socially responsible. A whopping 60% of Gen Z feels that it’s important for a brand to value their opinions. This means that Gen Z is much more likely to find themselves drawn to a brand that holds beliefs that resonate with them.
Because these individuals are so active online, social media plays a key role in allowing brands to share their stories and values. Brands that are more personal and responsible will find it easier to connect with this particular demographic.
Finally, while their millennial peers are looking to get the best bang for their buck, Gen Z is looking for higher quality. They are much more likely to switch to a new brand if it provides a higher quality product or more seamless customer experience.
Communicating With Gen Z
A recent study shows us that while Gen Z individuals are fluent with the online world, they still enjoy shopping in physical stores. A physical location gives shoppers the opportunity to interact with a product to ensure its quality as well as the satisfaction of purchasing the product and taking it home immediately. But where these customers choose to shop is still highly influenced by social media.
It is now more important than ever to coordinate your online and in-store efforts. You’ll want to create a campaign that not only encourages customers to visit your store but also provides them with an interactive experience when they arrive. This generation more than others will take advantage of opportunities to interact with products in the store from their phone. For example, QR Codes within the store that direct shoppers to the brand’s app where they can find discounts or set up alerts for sales.
It is also important that you offer simple incentives to follow your brand on social media. Almost 60% of shoppers are already using their phones in stores to look up product information before completing a purchase. Since most young shoppers are looking for an experience as well as a new product, be sure to utilize your online tools to enhance their in-store experience.
In a recent survey, 70% of Gen Z shoppers shared that they prefer that brands contact them through Instagram about new products. This indicates the importance of promoting your product online where most of your shoppers spend their time. To aid both shoppers and brands in their online experience, Instagram is implementing updates such as in-app-checkout and shoppable Instagram stories.
Generation Z is continuing to mature and influence the path of online marketing. If you’re not already connecting with this demographic on social media, it might be time to start.